News & Politics

Trump Withdraws Ratcliffe from Consideration for DNI Chief

Trump Withdraws Ratcliffe from Consideration for DNI Chief
In this Wednesday, July 24, 2019 photo, Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, joined at top right by Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., questions former special counsel Robert Mueller as he testifies to the House Intelligence Committee about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trump announced Sunday, July 28 that he will nominate Ratcliffe to replace Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, who is leaving his job next month. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Last weekend, the president tweeted out his choice for Director of National Intelligence:

But today,  Trump thought better of the choice:

The knives were out for Ratcliffe from the beginning. He was a fairly easy target, having served only six months on the Intelligence Committee.

But lack of experience wasn’t Ratcliffe’s only problem.


Although Ratcliffe had touted his counter-terrorism experience while in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas, media outlets including Reuters have reported on concerns that he may have exaggerated his achievements as a prosecutor.

Omigod, no! A politician who “exaggerated his achievements”? Quick, get the smelling salts! I feel faint from the shock.

Democratic lawmakers and some former senior U.S. intelligence officers have said Ratcliffe, 53, lacked the expertise and experience to replace Daniel Coats as director of national security and some have voiced concerns that he would warp U.S. intelligence to support the president’s views.

A Trump loyalist who has served for six months on the House of Representatives’ Intelligence Committee, Ratcliffe gained attention last week by criticizing former Special Counsel Robert Mueller during a hearing on Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

When Barack Obama named a Democratic Party partisan like Leon Panetta as Director of the CIA, nobody batted an eye. Do you think it might depend on which party is in control of the White House?

There is no such creature as a “non-partisan” intelligence chief. They serve at the pleasure of the president, and you wouldn’t have expected Obama to name a Republican to the post, any more than Trump should name a Democrat.

Nor is there anything that could be called “non-partisan intelligence.” The person who fills that spot will bring their unique worldview to the job and be always cognizant of who is sitting in the big chair in the Oval Office. That there is intelligence analysis that doesn’t sift through layers of bureaucrats used to trimming their views to make them acceptable to the president may have been true at one time, but no more. The government from top to bottom is more politicized than it’s ever been.

Trump wanted someone in the DNI post he could trust. That’s what all presidents want for all jobs in the executive branch. It’s too bad his first choice is being run off because he tried to pad his resume.

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