Trump National Intelligence Director Nominee John Ratcliffe Withdraws After Questions About Qualifications
On Thursday afternoon, Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) announced that he is withdrawing from considered to become national intelligence director just days after President Donald Trump picked him. The withdrawal comes after days of news stories questioning his qualifications, lack of support from fellow Republicans and veteran intelligence members questioning his resume.
The president tweeted that the “LameStream Media” was unfair to him, saying he told Ratcliffe months of “slander’ would make his family and himself “miserable.”
Our great Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe is being treated very unfairly by the LameStream Media. 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….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2019
Ratcliff quickly tweeted back he “will remain very grateful to the President for his intention to nominate me as Director of National Intelligence.”
While I am and will remain very grateful to the President for his intention to nominate me as Director of National Intelligence, I am withdrawing from consideration.
— John Ratcliffe (@RepRatcliffe) August 2, 2019
Trump had picked the representative without vetting his name. Ratcliffe has no previous experience with any intelligence agency. Before becoming a representative, he was the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Texas. On July 28, Trump announced via Twitter that he would replace the retiring Dan Coats, who was pushed out after clashing with Trump.
Trump picked Ratcliffe after his forceful questioning of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller during his House testimony.
Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) said, “I respect John Ratcliffe’s decision to withdraw his name from consideration for Director of National Intelligence.”
Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) also voice their opinions on Ratcliffe’s withdrawal. Schumer said, “Thanks goodness,” when reacting to the news and said Ratcliffe “never should have been considered in the first place.”
Many within the White House questioned the president’s choice and Ratcliffe’s ability.