U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe’s decision to pull out of the director of national intelligence job puts Donald John Trump squarely in the middle of a quandary he seems to have no interest in solving.
Trump selected the toadie Ratcliffe — a Northeast Texas congressman — to succeed Dan Coats as DNI, only to face a storm of criticism over Ratcliffe’s partisan leanings and allegations that he embellished his resume. Trump blamed the media for doing their job in “vetting” this individual.
Ratcliffe is out. Coats will be gone Aug. 15. Who will fill the vital job as head of the nation’s intelligence network? How in the world does this president do the right thing and find someone who (a) is willing to work for Donald Trump and (b) would provide Trump with the critical analysis of the existential security threats to the nation.
More to the point, how does Trump resist the impulse to rely on those who tell him what he wants to hear and ignores what he needs to hear?
Coats and other intelligence chiefs said the same thing: Russia attacked our election in 2016. Trump has dismissed them. Indeed, just this week he said former special counsel Robert Mueller — who said yet again that the Russians posed a serious threat to our electoral system — didn’t know what he was talking about.
The heads of the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency, the Joint Chiefs of Staff all have said the same thing: The Russians attacked us.
Coats spoke “truth to power.” Ratcliffe spoke quite the opposite.
What in the world is Donald Trump going to do to fill this job? He needs critical thinking. He needs to hear the truth. He needs to be told where the threats exist and he needs to consider strategies to protect our system against further assaults from Russia and perhaps other hostile powers.
Who in the world is willing to provide what the president of the United States won’t accept?