Trump Taps Representative John Ratcliffe as Director of National Intelligence

Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) questions Gordon Sondland, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, during a House Intelligence Committee impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill, November 20, 2019. (Samuel Corum/Pool via Reuters)

President Trump on Friday announced via Twitter his nomination of Representative John Ratcliffe for Director of National Intelligence.

Trump previously tapped Ratcliffe, a loyal Trump backer and donor, for the position last July, but the Texas Republican withdrew his name from consideration after reports that he had exaggerated his résumé.

If confirmed by the Senate, Ratcliffe will replace acting DNI Richard Grenell, formerly the U.S. ambassador to Germany. Grenell took over the role from Joseph Maguire after the latter was forced out last week in a sudden departure that caused consternation within the Intelligence Community.

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His departure came after Trump was reportedly irked about a classified briefing last Thursday during which Shelby Pierson, the intelligence community election threats executive, warned lawmakers that Russia is again interfering in the 2020 campaign and attempting to get Trump reelected.

Trump was said to be “out of joint with Maguire” on that process after hearing about the intelligence conclusion from a House Republican rather than from the intelligence community itself.

The president later pushed back on the narrative that he is the favorite candidate of Russia, calling it “another misinformation campaign” that was “launched by Democrats.”

Ratcliffe, a member of both the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees, garnered praise from Trump for his questioning of witnesses during the special counsel investigaiton and later the House impeachment probe.

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