President Trump says he will nominate GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe as intelligence chief

Alex Wong/Getty Images
Alex Wong/Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump announced Friday he would nominate GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas to serve as director of national intelligence.

Trump had previously tapped Ratcliffe for the position, which oversees the country’s intelligence agencies, in July, but had backtracked after it emerged Ratcliffe had made misrepresentations on his resume about his national security-related experience.

Ratcliffe, a prominent defender of the president during his House impeachment proceedings, also faced bipartisan blowback as lawmakers questioned his qualifications.

I am pleased to announce the nomination of @RepRatcliffe (Congressman John Ratcliffe) to be Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Would have completed process earlier, but John wanted to wait until after IG Report was finished. John is an outstanding man of great talent!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 28, 2020

A White House official said the nomination had not yet been formally transmitted to the Senate.

Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, is currently serving in the role in an acting capacity.

Trump’s announcement Friday sounded similar to the tweet he wrote last year when he originally said he would nominate Ratcliffe.

When Ratcliffe was first tapped, ABC News reported he had misrepresented his role in an anti-terrorism case that he had repeatedly cited among his credentials related to national security issues.

Five days after he first tweeted, after Ratcliffe’s qualifications came under fire, Trump announced he had changed his mind – but blamed the media.

The day Trump backtracked, he acknowledged Ratcliffe’s shortcomings but downplayed them.

“Now, he wasn’t in that world that much,” the president told reporters on Aug. 2. “I think he would’ve picked it up very quickly.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer swiftly attacked Trump’s move, saying it shows “once again his lack of respect for the rule of law and the intelligence community.”

“Replacing one highly partisan operative with another does nothing to keep our country safe,” he said in a statement urging senators reject Ratcliffe.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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