Saying that "it felt really good" to step down, U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, 75, says he has submitted his letter of resignation. Clapper revealed the news as he testified Thursday before the House Select Committee on Intelligence.
Clapper's resignation "was expected and does not today appear to indicate that Clapper is in any trouble or is being forced out," NPR National Security Editor Philip Ewing says. Clapper has told NPR's Mary Louise Kelly that he keeps a calendar counting down the days until he is out of government service.
Clapper has nearly two months left in his term; he was sworn in as director of national intelligence in August 2010.
"Everybody needs to take a deep breath," a DNI spokesperson tells NPR. "Clapper is resigning effective Jan. 20. He will finish out his term."
Following a military career that ended with his retirement as an Air Force lieutenant general and the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Clapper initially retired from service in 1995. He was drawn back into government following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, working for a range of defense and intelligence agencies before becoming the director of national intelligence.