Tags: Trump Administration | john ratcliffe | director | national | intelligence | dan coats | senate

Trump's DNI Pick Ratcliffe Faces Confirmation Fight 'of Lifetime'

john ratcliffe holds up a report and questions robert mueller
Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, questions special counsel Robert Mueller. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Monday, 29 July 2019 07:28 PM Current | Bio | Archive

To the surprise of just about no one in official Washington, the nomination of Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, to be director of national intelligence is sure to face one of the most spirited and hard-fought confirmation battles of any nominee Donald Trump has sent to the Senate since becoming president in 2017.

That was the conclusion of seasoned Capitol Hill staffers who spoke to Newsmax in the 24 hours since Trump said he would nominate Ratcliffe, a strong supporter of his and member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, to succeed retiring DNI Dan Coats.

"If the last 24 hours are any sign of what Democrats are going to do once Rep. Ratcliffe's nomination is sent to the Senate, then he's going to have a lot of trouble getting the DNI job," said one staffer to a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

Since the president tweeted Sunday he would appoint onetime U.S. Attorney Ratcliffe as DNI, Democratic lawmakers have been pounding home for what they cite as his lack of any experience in intelligence or foreign policy.

John McLaughlin, former Deputy Director of the CIA and a 32-year veteran of the CIA, retweeted a statement Monday that "Ratcliffe would be the first DNI without significant intelligence or ambassadorial experience. Dan Coats has done superbly the main thing a DNI must do: present the collective view of the intelligence community in a fair, objective, and non-partisan way."

Some on Capitol Hill have even predicted the lack of Republican enthusiasm for the three-term congressman could lead to a few dissenting votes among the 53 GOP senators and a possible tie in the Senate (that would be broken by Vice President Mike Pence).

Although Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., did congratulate Ratcliffe on his nomination over the weekend, other Republicans on the panel have had nothing to say about him Monday.

Other Senate Republicans sent signals it would have been easier to guarantee confirmation of a DNI if someone with more experience in intelligence had been nominated.

No less a Republican power than Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Ky., fueled questions about Ratcliffe's credentials with a statement Sunday in which he said: "The U.S. intelligence community works best when it is lead by professionals who protect its work from political or analytical bias who deliver unvarnished hard truths to political leaders in both the executive and legislative branches."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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The nomination of Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, to be director of national intelligence is sure to draw one of the most spirited and hard-fought confirmation battles of any President Donald Trump nominee, Newsmax's John Gizzi reports.
john ratcliffe, director, national, intelligence, dan coats, senate, confirmation
Monday, 29 July 2019 07:28 PM
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