President Donald Trump officially nominated Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) to become his administration’s next Director of National Intelligence, replacing outgoing director Dan Coats, who announced his resignation this week.
Many Democratic lawmakers believe the selection of Ratcliffe is political rather than professional, and was based on the lawmaker’s support of the president rather than his qualifications for the role.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer denounced the nomination in a statement he made following Trump’s announcement. “It’s clear that Rep. Ratcliffe was selected because he exhibited blind loyalty to President Trump with his demagogic questioning of former special counsel Robert Mueller” during testimony before Congress last week, Schumer said, per reporting from MSN.
In an unusually strident press release, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) called Ratcliffe “the most partisan and least qualified individual ever nominated to serve as Director of National Intelligence.” https://t.co/3BboK0KY7Y via @HuffPostPol
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Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, went further, calling Ratcliffe “the most partisan and least qualified individual ever nominated to serve as director of national intelligence.”
Wyden elaborated on his complaints, Common Dreams reported, noting that Ratcliffe’s qualifications seemed to be rooted in the fact that he defended the president against claims made by former special counsel Robert Mueller that Trump may have obstructed justice during the Russia investigation.
“The sum total of his qualifications appears to be his record of promoting Donald Trump’s conspiracy theories about the investigation into Russian interference and calling for prosecution of Trump’s political enemies. Furthermore, he has endorsed widespread government surveillance and shown little concern for Americans’ rights, except for those of Donald Trump and his close associates.”
Wyden noted that there was a need for a strong, qualified leader to become Trump’s next DNI, but that Ratcliffe wasn’t that person. Choosing him could be perilous for the country’s interests.
“This is a dangerous time, and America needs the most qualified and objective individuals possible to lead our intelligence agencies. Anything less risks American lives,” said Wyden.