(Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Dan Coats, the spy chief who has clashed with U.S. President Donald Trump over assessments involving Russia, Iran and North Korea, plans to step down soon, a source familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

A person with direct knowledge of that matter told Reuters that Coats advised Trump last week that he planned to step down fairly soon as director of national intelligence. He offered the president some thoughts on who might succeed him, the source said.

The New York Times, citing people familiar with the matter, reported the departure was expected "in the coming days."

Coats' office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he hoped the United States was not heading to war with Iran as he met with Switzerland President Ueli Maurer, whose nation has served as a diplomatic conduit between the two countries.

Asked by reporters Washington was going to war with Tehran, Trump responded, "Hope not" as he greeted Maurer at the White House.

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U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland, July 16, 2018. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke for more than an hour on Friday, discussing the possibility of a new nuclear accord, North Korean denuclearization, Ukraine and the political situation in Venezuela, the White House said.

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