Top US counterterrorism chief steps down

The top U.S. counterterrorism official is leaving the federal government at the end of the year.

National Intelligence Director Dan Coats said Wednesday that Nick Rasmussen, who has directed the National Counterterrorism Center for the past three years, is leaving despite the Trump administration's request for him to stay.

Coats praised Rasmussen's work guiding the nation during a time of complicated threats. He thanked Rasmussen for his 27 years of government service, which included senior roles at the State Department and the White House.

Russ Travers, the deputy director of the counterterrorism center, will be acting chief until President Donald Trump nominates a successor.