President Trump tweeted Friday he would tap Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe, a staunch defender of the president during the impeachment hearings, as director of national intelligence.
The president had previously named the Texas Republican for DNI earlier last year, but the nomination was later withdrawn.
“I am pleased to announce the nomination of @RepRatcliffe (Congressman John Ratcliffe) to be Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Would have completed process earlier, but John wanted to wait until after IG Report was finished. John is an outstanding man of great talent!” the president tweeted.
The president’s ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, has been the acting director of national intelligence.
Mr. Trump’s decision to pick Mr. Ratcliffe last year attracted immediate criticism, with pundits and lawmakers questioning whether he had the resume for the job or could be impartial.
Critics said Mr. Trump picked the congressman based on his performance during special counsel Robert Mueller’s hearing on Capitol Hill.
Mr. Ratcliffe ultimately withdrew in early August, saying he didn’t want to trigger a bitter partisan battle.
The president at the time complained that Mr. Ratcliffe had been treated unfairly by “the LameStream Media.”
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said the president was replacing “one highly partisan operative with another.”
“At a time when the Russians are interfering in our elections, we need a nonpartisan leader at the helm of the Intelligence Community who sees the world objectively and speaks truth to power, and unfortunately neither Acting Director Grenell nor Rep. Ratcliffe comes even close to that,” the New York Democrat said.
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