Donald J. Trump has yanked John Ratcliffe’s name from consideration as the next Director of National Intelligence.
Ratcliffe, the congressman from Northeast Texas who also happens to be a staunch — damn near rabid — Trump supporter, had no business being considered for the top job in our nation’s vast intelligence-gathering and analysis network.
Why? Because he demonstrated a palpable disregard for the work done by Robert Mueller, the former special counsel who has said categorically that Russians attacked our electoral system in 2016 and were poised to do it again in 2020.
Ratcliffe, moreover, reportedly embellished his resume, suggesting he had taken part in anti-terror operations while serving as U.S. attorney in East Texas when he did no such thing.
Trump, though, said the media would “slander and libel” him, and suggested that Ratcliffe remain in Congress.
Hey, here’s an idea for the president to consider. He ought to find someone with the gravitas of the outgoing DNI, former U.S. Sen. Dan Coats, who is leaving because he and Trump had disagreements over the very thing we’ve been discussing here: the Russian threat to our democratic process. Coats blames the Russians for behaving with evil intent; Trump sides with the Russians. Game over for DNI Coats.
Oh, wait! Just how does the president find a grownup such as Coats to take over the DNI job if he’s going to insist that the intelligence presented to him is phony, that it’s wrong and that the Russians aren’t doing what the spooks are telling him?
Ratcliffe wasn’t qualified for the DNI job, the alleged embellishment notwithstanding. The POTUS needs a DNI to tell him what he needs to hear, not what he wants to hear.
As for the media that did their job, they performed a valuable public service in outing Ratcliffe as a Donald Trump toadie who wasn’t up to the job.