On Sunday, President Trump announced he would be replacing current Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats with Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe.
The appointment will require confirmation by the Republican-majority in the Senate.
“I am pleased to announce that highly respected Congressman John Ratcliffe of Texas will be nominated by me to be the Director of National Intelligence,” Trump tweeted.
“A former U.S. Attorney, John will lead and inspire greatness for the country he loves,” the president continued. “Dan Coats, the current Director, will be leaving office on August 15th. I would like to thank Dan for his great service to our Country. The Acting Director will be named shortly.”
….be leaving office on August 15th. I would like to thank Dan for his great service to our Country. The Acting Director will be named shortly.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 28, 2019
Ratcliffe responded: “I am deeply grateful to President Trump for the opportunity to lead our Nation’s intelligence community and work on behalf of all the public servants who are tirelessly devoted to defending the security and safety of the United States.”
I am deeply grateful to President Trump for the opportunity to lead our Nation’s intelligence community and work on behalf of all the public servants who are tirelessly devoted to defending the security and safety of the United States.
— John Ratcliffe (@RepRatcliffe) July 29, 2019
“President Trump’s call to serve in this role was not one I could ignore, and I am incredibly thankful to him for this great honor,” the Texas Congressman added. “I look forward to my new role with energy and focus. It has been the privilege of my lifetime to be the voice for the people of the Fourth District of Texas over the past five years.”
And, “I will take their wisdom and common sense with me in my new role, and I will always remember with pride my service to them, and all that we have accomplished together.”
of Texas over the past five years. I will take their wisdom and common sense with me in my new role, and I will always remember with pride my service to them, and all that we have accomplished together.
— John Ratcliffe (@RepRatcliffe) July 29, 2019
Democrats quickly responding to the appointment by praising Coats and his alleged resistance of President Trump.
Several congressional lawmakers and 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said, using nearly identical language, that Coats “spoke truth to power.”
Warren tweeted: “From day one, Trump has made his disdain for the intelligence community clear. Our Director of National Intelligence should be above partisan politics, speak truth to power, and resist Trump’s abuses of authority. John Ratcliffe doesn’t fit that bill.”
Virginia Senator Mark Warner echoed: “The mission of the intelligence community is to speak truth to power. As DNI, Dan Coats stayed true to that mission. Thank you for your service, Director Coats.”
And, from Council on Foreign Relations President Richard Haass: “Sorry to learn the DNI stepping down. Dan Coats was willing to speak truth to power and tell this Potus what he needed to hear even if he didn’t want to hear it. Essential his successor be no less independent and committed to the institution of the ODNI.”
CNN national security analyst Shawn Turner similarly remarked: “Coats has done a phenomenal job as director of national intelligence.” Adding Coats, “spoke truth to power,” which put “him at odds with the President.”
“I want to thank Dan Coats for serving as Director of National Intelligence with such distinction,” Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff tweeted. “He has been a great advocate for men and women of the Intelligence Community, and a good leader. Most important, he has had the independence and strength to speak truth to power.”
Check it out:
And another knucklehead weighs in with the DNC talking points. pic.twitter.com/3A0rJYSKHf
— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) July 28, 2019
BizPac Review reports:
Coats has had disagreements with Trump over Russia, Iran, and North Korea, and on one occasion the President took a veiled shot at his DNI when he tweeted about “passive and naive” U.S. intelligence leaders, saying they should “go back to school.”
Replacing Coats has been on Trump’s “to-do” list for some time, according to Washington pundits, and Ratcliffe has been on the President’s radar all along. But the congressman’s performance last week in the Mueller hearing seems to have clinched the job for him.
There is no doubt that Ratcliffe will face strong opposition by Senate Democrats in his confirmation hearing.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Coats’ exit “is bad news for the security of America,” and that his successor must “remember that his oath is to protect the Constitution and the American people, not the President.”
A long line of Republicans have already expressed their support for Ratcliffe’s nomination, including Reps. Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan, and Devin Nunes, as well as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Sen. Lindsey Graham.