After President Donald Trump tweeted U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe had decided to stay in Congress rather than move forward with the process to replace Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, the representative for Texas’ 4th District released a statement he was withdrawing from consideration for the position.
“While I am and will remain very grateful to the President for his intention to nominate me as Director of National Intelligence, I am withdrawing from consideration,” Ratcliffe said in a statement emailed to the Herald Democrat. “I was humbled and honored that the President put his trust in me to lead our nation’s intelligence operations and remain convinced that when confirmed, I would have done so with the objectivity, fairness and integrity that our intelligence agencies need and deserve. However, I do not wish for a national security and intelligence debate surrounding my confirmation, however untrue, to become a purely political and partisan issue. The country we all love deserves that it be treated as an American issue. Accordingly, I have asked the President to nominate someone other than me for this position.”
On Sunday, Axios broke the news of Trump’s intent to nominate the Texas congressman, citing sources who said the president was thrilled by Ratcliffe’s admonishment of former special counsel Robert Mueller in a recent House Judiciary Committee hearing. But then Trump broke the new Friday on Twitter that Ratcliffe would be staying in Congress.
“Our great Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe is being treated very unfairly by the LameStream Media,” Trump wrote. “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. I will be announcing my nomination for DNI shortly.”
On Sunday, Axios broke the news of Trump’s intent to nominate Ratcliffe, citing sources who said Trump was thrilled by the Texas congressman’s admonishment of former special counsel Robert Mueller in a recent House Judiciary Committee hearing.
Ratcliffe’s background has come under scrutiny since Trump announced Sunday that he planned to nominate the lawmaker. Ratcliffe has dealt with charges he exaggerating parts of his biography, like his role as the leader of an immigration crackdown while he was a federal prosecutor in the Eastern District of Texas. Ratcliffe has vehemently defended his record.
Ratcliffe, a former federal prosecutor first elected in 2014, was mayor of Heath before successfully unseating the late Ralph Hall, R-Rockwall, then the dean of the Texas delegation. This isn’t the first time Ratcliffe has been said to be under consideration for a position in this administration. In November, he was on a short list of possible replacements for fired U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.