Top US counterterrorism chief stepping down at end of year

The top U.S. counterterrorism official is leaving the federal government at the end of the year, National Intelligence Director Dan Coats said Wednesday.

When President Donald Trump took office in January, administration officials asked Nick Rasmussen to stay on as director of the National Counterterrorism Center through the transition. More recently, Rasmussen decided to end his 27 years of government service, including three years as director of the center and more than two years as deputy director.

"Nick is deeply committed to the counterterrorism mission and has skillfully guided the nation through an evolving and complex terrorism threat environment," Coats said. "The Trump administration's request for Nick to remain as NCTC director is a testament to his outstanding tenure."

Russ Travers, the deputy director of the counterterrorism center, will be acting chief until Trump nominates a successor. Rasmussen has not publicly disclosed his future plans.