Trump Nominates John Ratcliffe For Intelligence Chief Months After Withdrawing His Name

President Donald Trump nominated Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) as the director of national intelligence — again — months after first nominating him to the role and then withdrawing his nomination.

In a tweet Friday, Trump announced his nomination of the Texas congressman to be director of national intelligence, saying the White House “would have completed process earlier, but John wanted to wait” until after the inspector general’s report was finished. 

In August, Trump had withdrawn Ratcliffe as his pick for director of national intelligence to replace Dan Coats. The Texas congressman, a fierce defender of Trump, had faced criticism from lawmakers for his lack of experience in national security. 

The president tweeted at the time that he had persuaded Ratcliffe to withdraw in order to avoid “months of slander and libel,” adding that Ratcliffe had been “treated very unfairly by the LameStream Media.” 

When Trump first nominated Ratcliffe in July, The Washington Post reported that current and former intelligence officials deemed Ratcliffe “the least-qualified person ever nominated.”

Among lawmakers, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who is on the Senate Intelligence Committee, called Ratcliffe in a July news release “the most partisan and least qualified individual ever nominated to serve as Director of National Intelligence.”

“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,” Wyden said.

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