Trump Announces Nomination of Ratcliffe as Director of National Intelligence

February 28, 2020 Updated: February 29, 2020
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President Donald Trump late Friday announced Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) to be the Director of National Intelligence (DNI).

“I am pleased to announce the nomination of @RepRatcliffe (Congressman John Ratcliffe) to be Director of National Intelligence (DNI),” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Would have completed process earlier, but John wanted to wait until after IG [Inspector General] report was finished.”

“John is an outstanding man of great talent!” Trump added.

The post of DNI, created after Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, oversees the 17 U.S. civilian and military intelligence agencies, including the CIA.

The announcement comes just 10 days after Trump said that Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, will be the acting DNI to replace Joseph Macguire.

The Senate must confirm the nomination for the permanent DNI role. If confirmed, it would be the first time DNI role is filled since former DNI Dan Coats’ resignation took effect on Aug. 15, 2019.

Trump had earlier nominated Ratcliffe to the DNI role in July 2019, but Ratcliffe withdrew from consideration. Trump soon after named Maguire to the acting DNI position on Aug. 8, 2019.

Trump said the media’s unfair treatment of Ratcliffe led to the withdrawal.

“Our great Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe is being treated very unfairly by the LameStream Media,” Trump said on Twitter in August 2019. “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.”

“John has therefore decided to stay in Congress where he has done such an outstanding job representing the people of Texas, and our Country,” Trump said in a subsequent post.

Ratcliffe has been in Congress since 2015 and currently serves on both the House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, as well as the Ethics Committee. He was involved in the questioning of witnesses during the Mueller as well as the House impeachment investigations.

Before serving in Congress, Ratcliffe was the mayor for Heath, Texas, a U.S. attorney, and a federal terrorism prosecutor, according to his official biography.

Bowen Xiao contributed to this report.

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