James Clapper
James Clapper pictured before a Senate Intelligence Committee in February Reuters

The US director of National Intelligence James Clapper has submitted his resignation. He made the announcement to the House Select Intelligence Committee, adding it "felt pretty good" while doing so.

Clapper, 75, has frequently spoken out about his desire to step down from the role once outgoing US President Barack Obama's term in office comes to an end.

He added: "I have 64 days left and I'd have a pretty hard time with my wife going past that," reported CNN. He previously told NBC News that than 50 years in service was "more than enough".

All those who part of an outgoing administration must submit a letter of resignation. A spokesperson from the Office of Director National Intelligence confirmed: "He signed his letter as required by all appointed administration officials but is finishing out his term."

During his time in office, Clapper has had to defend the activities of the National Service Agency (NSA), whose mass surveillance techniques used against US citizens were exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Clapper famously responded to a question on whether the government collects any type of data on US citizens with "not wittingly" - an answer which has since been described as his "least untruthful" statement to the Senate.

Responding to claims the NSA conducted similar techniques to spy on foreign leaders, Clapper told the the House Intelligence Committee in 2013: "As long as I've been in the intelligence business, 50 years, leadership intentions in whatever form that's expressed is kind of a basic tenet of what we are to collect and analyse, It's invaluable to us to know where countries are coming from, what their policies are, how that would impact us across a whole range of issues."