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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, February 24, 2019 1:00 am

Braun doesn't think Trump will fire Coats

BRIAN FRANCISCO and NIKI KELLY | The Journal Gazette

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun said last week he does not think President Donald Trump will fire Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

“In the case of Dan Coats maybe having a different point of view, I don't think that necessarily means that they don't work something out to where both sides come together,” Braun, R-Ind., told news media before a Tuesday appearance at Purdue University Fort Wayne.

“I don't see any indication that he's headed out. Unless you'd be completely on opposite ends of the spectrum – then I think it would be hard to work like that. I don't think we're there,” he said.

Trump friend Christopher Ruddy told CNN on Monday that he believes the split between Trump and Coats over threats posed by North Korea might cost Coats his job. He based his opinion on conversations with unidentified White House sources.

Coats, a former Republican member of the House and Senate from Indiana, told a congressional hearing in January that North Korea “is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities.”

Trump later tweeted, “Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!” He also tweeted that the U.S.-North Korea relationship “is the best it has ever been.”

On Wednesday, reporters at the White House asked Trump whether he would replace Coats as intelligence director. He replied, “I haven't even thought about it.”

Candidate training

The Allen County Democratic Party will offer training sessions for precinct committee officials, volunteers and election candidates on Saturday at party headquarters, 7301 Decatur Road, Fort Wayne.

Training for precinct committee officials and volunteers will be at 10 a.m., and training for candidates will be at 1 p.m. Precinct officials should RSVP to chair@allencountydemocrat.org for materials.

Candidate training is for candidates in this year's election and people considering running for public office in 2020 and later.

Couple honored

The Fort Wayne City Council on Tuesday recognized the service of Bud and Jean Mendenhall as they retire from more than 30 years of service to the Bloomingdale Neighborhood. The couple were recognized as leaders of the neighborhood. Bud Mendenhall served as the longtime president of the Bloomingdale Neighborhood Association

The resolution, approved unanimously, was sponsored by Councilmen Tom Didier, R-3rd, and Geoff Paddock, D-5th.

“We wanted to bring this forward because of your excellent work in the Bloomingdale neighborhood,” Didier said. “I just want to congratulate you on 30 years plus of doing what you did for the community, pretty much without any recompense.”

They were honored earlier by Mayor Tom Henry, who declared Jan.10 Bud and Jean Mendenhall Day.

“We all love you, we appreciate you very much,” Paddock said. “Thank you very much and your shoes will be difficult to fill.”

Bud Mendenhall said he and Jean have enjoyed working with the council over the years, despite occasional differences.

“That's what it's supposed to be about, I think,” Mendenhall said. “We all learn from it.”

Dave Gong of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at bfrancisco@jg.net or Niki Kelly at nkelly@jg.net. An expanded Political Notebook can be found as a daily blog at www.journalgazette.net/politicalnotebook.