“It’s clear that Rep. Ratcliffe was selected because he exhibited blind loyalty to President Trump with his demagogic questioning of ... Mueller,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said.
United States President Donald Trump announced Sunday he would nominate Congressman John Ratcliffe (R) to replace Daniel Coats as the country’s Director of National Intelligence.
As soon as the tweets went out, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) criticized Trump’s choice, saying that “it’s clear that Rep. Ratcliffe was selected because he exhibited blind loyalty to President Trump with his demagogic questioning of ... Mueller.”
Coats’ resignation, effective Aug. 15, was expected as he had staunch differences with Trump. A source familiar with the decision told Vox that the former DNI was “not loved in the administration.”
A clear example occurred on January 29, when Coats and U.S. intelligence officials presented their “Worldwide Threat Assessment” report to the Senate Intelligence Committee.
In it, they testified against most of Trump's allegations arguing, as "intelligence" and "security" experts, that North Korea isn't likely to give up its nuclear arsenal, Iran isn't trying to make a nuclear weapon and that climate change is a genuine national security threat.
A stark contrast with Ratcliffe, a member of the House of Representatives intelligence and judiciary committees, who just recently strongly defended the U.S. president during former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony on Wednesday about his probe on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The Texas Republican representative also accused Mueller of exceeding his authority in the report’s extensive analysis of potential obstruction of justice by Trump after the special counsel decided not to draw a conclusion on whether the president committed the crime.
“If Senate Republicans elevate such a partisan player to a position that requires intelligence expertise and non-partisanship, it would be a big mistake,” Schumer warned in a statement.
Trump’s new choice has only served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which oversees the U.S. intelligence agencies along with its U.S. Senate counterpart, for six months.
Now by becoming director of national intelligence, a position that was created after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Ratcliffe will oversee the 17 U.S. civilian and military intelligence agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, and Federal Bureau of Intelligence.
Ratcliffe is also a great supporter of Trump's migration policies, stating in 2017 that he “applauds President Trump's actions to vamp up the vetting of refugees attempting to enter our country."
Also is a strong opponent of neutrality and according to Heritage Action, a sister-organization for the conservative Heritage Foundation, Ratcliffe was ranked as the second-most conservative legislator in the 114th Congress.