1) Coats is obstructing declass, and
2) Trump regards the DNI as an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy.
Don't doubt that among the "confidants" with whom Trump is discussing this is Bill Barr. And, by the way, Coats was probably appointed at the recommendation of Mike Pence.
Here's how Swan leads off:
President Trump has told confidants he's eager to remove Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, according to five sources who have discussed the matter directly with the president.
The state of play: Trump hasn't told our sources when he plans to make a move, but they say his discussions on the topic have been occurring for months — often unprompted — and the president has mentioned potential replacements since at least February. A source who spoke to Trump about Coats a week ago said the president gave them the impression that the move would happen "sooner rather than later."
* The director of national intelligence serves as an overseer of the U.S. intelligence community and a close adviser to the president and National Security Council, producing each day's top-secret Presidential Daily Brief.
* A source with direct knowledge told me that Trump has privately said he thinks the Office of the Director of National Intelligence represents an unnecessary bureaucratic layer and that he would like to get rid of it. He has been told that eliminating the ODNI is not politically possible, but still would like to "downsize" the office, the source said.
"Five sources who have discussed the matter directly with the president?" That sounds like a pretty well sourced report! It also sounds like a hot button issue for Trump.
TGP comments--and this sounds very right:
Dan Coats is a Deep State stooge and is causing a bottleneck for Barr and Durham in the declassification process in their Spygate investigation.
Recall, in May of this year, Dan Coats warned Attorney General Bill Barr against releasing “highly-sensitive classified information” would imperil national security after President Trump ordered a declassification of Spygate documents.
“As part of that process, I am confident that the Attorney General will work with the IC in accordance with the long-established standards to protect highly-sensitive classified information that, if publicly released, would put our national security at risk,” Coats previously said.
Trump trusts Barr, and if Barr needs Coats gone, well ... sooner rather than later.