President Donald Trump announced on Friday that Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe will not be the next director of national intelligence.
The president said Ratcliffe withdrew after realizing how difficult his senate confirmation process would be.
“Our great Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe is being treated very unfairly by the LameStream Media,” Trump tweeted.
“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 continued. “John has therefore decided to stay in Congress where he has done such an outstanding job representing the people of Texas, and our Country. I will be announcing my nomination for DNI shortly.”
….John has therefore decided to stay in Congress where he has done such an outstanding job representing the people of Texas, and our Country. I will be announcing my nomination for DNI shortly.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2019
Senate Democrats openly dismissed the John Ratcliffe as an unqualified partisan, noting he was a vocal skeptic of former special counsel Mueller’s investigation. They said he wasn’t suited for a position that is designed to objectively oversee the nation’s intelligence agencies.
Ratcliffe has criticized House Democrats for continuing to investigate the president, even after special counsel Robert Mueller failed to find evidence of collusion between the president and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election.
‘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,” Ratcliffe said. “I was humbled and honored that the President put his trust in me to lead our nation’s intelligence operations and remain convinced that when confirmed, I would have done so with the objectivity, fairness and integrity that our intelligence agencies need and deserve.”
“However,” he added, “I do not wish for a national security and intelligence debate surrounding my confirmation, however untrue, to become a purely political and partisan issue.”
However, I do not wish for a national security and intelligence debate surrounding my confirmation, however untrue, to become a purely political and partisan issue. The country we all love deserves that it be treated as an American issue.
— John Ratcliffe (@RepRatcliffe) August 2, 2019
President Trump said Friday that he thinks the confirmation process for his nominee for director of national intelligence would have been a “long, hard slog.” Trump told reporters before leaving Washington that John Ratcliffe is an “outstanding man,” and said he was treated unfairly by the press.
President Trump on John Ratcliffe: “I think he was just treated very badly, very harshly by the press… Nobody understands the press but I think I understand them as well as anybody.” pic.twitter.com/UXP2yFExWF
— The Hill (@thehill) August 2, 2019
President Trump on John Ratcliffe: “I could see exactly where the press was going. And fake news. He’s a fine man.” pic.twitter.com/lMzCJKnUcK
— The Hill (@thehill) August 2, 2019
North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, said in a statement that he respects Ratcliffe’s decision.
“There is no substitute for having a Senate-confirmed director in place to lead our Intelligence Community,” Burr added.
Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the intelligence committee, said he wanted a nominee like Coats: “someone with a deep knowledge of the intelligence community, respect for the hard work intelligence professionals do to keep us safe, and the independence and integrity to speak truth to power when necessary.”
President Trump says he will be reviewing three other candidates this weekend to succeed Dan Coats, who resigned last week.
Includes reporting from the Associated Press.