John Ratcliffe’s Withdrawal Leaves Trump Administration Scrambling For A New Intelligence Director
Representative John Ratcliffe surprised many by withdrawing from consideration as the next Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Ratcliffe was seen as a loyal supporter of President Donald Trump who would help the administration tighten its grip on the intelligence community. Ratcliffe had been the nominee for just five days.
Ratcliffe had faced widespread criticism for his lack of qualifications for the role. The DNI is supposed to have significant intelligence or military experience. Ratcliffe has neither and his nomination was met with astonishment by some former intelligence officials.
President Trump will not be pleased with Ratcliffe’s decision. The Republican congressman was likely chosen for his defense of the President in light of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. Most commentators believed Trump was picking someone who would do his bidding.
However, the Senate Intelligence Committee is one of the least partisan in Congress, leading to questions about Ratcliffe’s confirmation. If the committee, which is majority Republican, had refused to advance his nomination, it would have been embarrassing for the administration.
President Trump will now have to find another choice for the role. The Director of National Intelligence overseas the 17 intelligence agencies and has the potential to very influence. The administration wanted Ratcliffe because of his loyalty. Now it will have to think again.