Trump Says His Choice for Spy Chief Has Decided to Stay in Congress

REUTERS/Leah Millis

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he had dropped his choice for spy chief, Representative John Ratcliffe, after questions about the congressman’s lack of experience and possible exaggerations in his resume.

Trump blamed unflattering news coverage for fellow-Republican Ratcliffe’s decision to bow out of the nomination process and instead remain in Congress.

“Rather than going through months of slander and libel, I explained to John how miserable it would be for him and his family to deal with these people,” Trump said on Twitter.

“John has therefore decided to stay in Congress.”

Trump said he would soon announce another nominee who would oversee America’s 17 U.S. civilian and military intelligence agencies.

Democratic lawmakers and some former senior U.S. intelligence officers have said Ratcliffe, 53, lacked the expertise and experience to replace Daniel Coats as Director of National Security and some have voiced concerns that he would warp U.S. intelligence to support the president’s views.

A Trump loyalist who has served for six months on the House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee, Ratcliffe gained attention last week by criticizing former Special Counsel Robert Mueller during a hearing on Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

Although Ratcliffe had touted his counter-terrorism experience while in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas, media outlets including Reuters have reported on concerns that he may have exaggerated his achievements as a prosecutor.

Ratcliffe confirmed that he had withdrawn his name from consideration. He said he thought the confirmation process would become a partisan battle between Trump’s Republicans and opposition Democrats.

“I do not wish for a national security and intelligence debate surrounding my confirmation, however untrue, to become a purely political and partisan issue,” Ratcliffe said.

“The country we all love deserves that it be treated as an American issue.”

(Reporting by Phil Stewart; additional reporting by Mark Hosenball and Jonathan Landay; Editing by Grant McCool)

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Phyllis Softa
Member

James, the Senate has 53 R’s. Only 50 votes + Pence are needed to confirm ANY nominee—-Ratcliffe was unacceptable to more than D’s or his nomination would not have been pulled. Dan Coates, who Ratcliffe would have replaced, was confirmed 85-12 by the 115th Senate. Mark Esper was confirmed as Sec. of Defense last month with a 90-8 vote. Neither are Michelle O. BUT Michelle O, unlike Ratcliffe, would have told Trump she did not have intel experience.

James
Member

No matter who Trump picks, the nominee – other than Michelle O – would be unacceptable to the Socialists.

General Confusion
Member

I am confused. This is really suspicious. The king’s administration is trying to contravene the Vacency Reform Act to put in a profoundly unqualified sycophant who would do the king’s bidding over the person next in line that has over 30 years worth of experience, Sue Gordon. Ratcliffe is a conspiracy theorist nutjob, too. If rabidly right-wing Lt Gen Ralph Peters thinks that Ratcliffe is unqualified, then you know that there was something really toxic about Ratcliffe. The King doesn’t give up this easily just because a few Republicans opposed him. He hasn’t before. Also the chief DNI, who reports… Read more »

Michael
Member

Get back into that clown car.

Morte206
Member

Most people I know do not enjoy undergoing a colonoscopy, I expect Mr Ratcliffe is no different.

General Confusion
Member

I am confused.

Isn’t part of the job of the media to hold people in power accountable, whether it is embellishing credentials or robbing the American people, nepotism, corruption, poisoning our envirnment, or lying to us about 11,000 times?

I am pretty sure it is…

Phoenix
Member

The “lamestream media” is going to hound on anyone he picks just as they have for all his picks in the past.

The only time he ever really gives in is when what they are saying is true and its overly problematic – which honestly is the right thing to do. But pretending that he is bowing to pressure from media is goofy.

Better luck next pick.

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