The Senate Must Reject Trump Apologist Ratcliffe as Director of National Intelligence
President Trump has chosen Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) to replace Dan Coats as Director of National Intelligence [DNI]. Coats, who previously had served in the Senate and as Ambassador to Germany, was widely respected in Congress and in the intelligence community, but made the mistake of contradicting Trump on a wide variety of issues concerning N. Korea, Syria and Russia.
New York Times: "In the [annual Global Threats] report and testimony before the Senate, Mr. Coats said that North Korea was unlikely to give up its nuclear stockpile, that Iran was not immediately taking steps to build a nuclear weapon and that the Islamic State was still capable of stoking violence in Syria — all facts that undermined Mr. Trump’s assumptions."
And when Trump tried to undermine the intelligence community's conclusion that Russia had intervened to help him win the 2016 election, Coats disagreed with the President and warned of Russia's continuing efforts to interfere in US elections.
New York Times: "While Mr. Trump has wavered on his acceptance of Russian election interference, Mr. Coats has insisted that Moscow is a continuing, and growing, threat. “These actions are persistent, they are pervasive and they are meant to undermine America’s democracy,” Mr. Coats said in a speech on Friday [7/18]."
Rep Ratcliffe, on the other hand, is one of Donald Trump's biggest supporters in Congress, as evidenced by the questions he posed to Robert Mueller last week, and a vocal deep state conspiracy theorist.
The New Yorker: "Most important, Ratcliffe is a full-throated backer of Trump’s practice of trafficking in conspiracy theories for political gain; he has joined the President’s effort to claim that it wasn’t the myriad contacts between Trump campaign aides and Russian officials that led to Mueller investigation but, rather, that the inquiry was part of a “deep state” conspiracy. Ratcliffe has repeatedly claimed that Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, colluded with Russia and that a cabal of C.I.A. and F.B.I. officials, working with foreign intelligence services, carried out a global conspiracy to entrap Trump aides."
It gets worse.
The Daily Beast: "One of Ratcliffe’s biggest contributions to the Republican pushback on the [Mueller] investigation came in January 2018, when he claimed he had seen text messages between Page and Strzok that suggested the existence of a “secret society” working against Trump. But Ratcliffe’s claims, which were subsequently amplified by pro-Trump media outlets, fell apart when the fuller text exchanges became public."
Moreover, President Trump has selected Radcliffe for his loyalty, not his experience or willingness to speak truth to power.
Wired: "Ratcliffe seems to appeal to Trump for the same reason most of the sycophants around him do: Loyalty first and foremost to No. 1. But the DNI is not supposed to walk through the door of the Oval Office attempting to please the president—he is supposed to tell the president whatever he needs to hear, consequences be damned."
But, the President seems to have a completely different job description in mind. He wants a DNI that will force America's intelligence agencies to go out and find evidence that supports his preconceived notions of the world.
Wired: Trump wants nothing of the kind. Instead, as he told reporters Tuesday afternoon, “We need somebody strong that can really rein it in. Because as I think you've all learned, the intelligence agencies have run amok. They've run amok.”
"Run amok?" In Trump-speak that means that they have uncovered intelligence that undermines his foreign policies and have shared it with Congress and the American people. We can't have that, can we?
Senator Angus King captured concerns about Rep. Ratcliffe without having to mention him by name.
New York Times: “We have gotten in trouble in this country in the past when we have cherry-picked intelligence for political purposes or to suit the needs of the president,” he said. “That is the worst thing that can happen.”
The Senate should reject Rep. Ratcliffe as Director of National Intelligence.
By: Don & Curated Content