I will be waiting with bated breath for the new director of national intelligence to answer this critical question from U.S. senators who will debate whether to confirm him for the job of top spook in the Trump administration.
“Do you believe, as your predecessor Dan Coats believes, that Russian government goons attacked our electoral system in 2016 and are doing so now in advance of the next presidential election?”
OK, so maybe senators won’t call ’em “goons.” That’s my term, but you get the point.
Coats is “stepping down” as DNI. Donald Trump says he’ll appoint U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe to succeed Coats. Ratcliffe has been a staunch supporter of the Trump, even challenging the integrity of an American patriot, former special counsel Robert Mueller III, who examined whether Trump’s campaign was complicit in the 2016 Russian attack on our electoral system.
Coats got sideways with the president over this issue of the Russian attack. Coats says the Russians did it. So did other intelligence and counter-terrorism experts, including the FBI director, the CIA director, the head of the National Security Agency, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and, of course, DNI Dan Coats.
The president’s view? He stands with Russian despot Vladimir Putin, who denies the Russians did anything wrong.
So my question of John Ratcliffe would be: Do you stand with Trump or the experts who say the Russians are guilty as hell?
Mueller said the Russians did it. He said they are attacking this nation at this very moment. Donald Trump — the self-proclaimed “stable genius” who knows the “best words” and hires the “best people” — has been shamefully silent on this issue.
Now it’s Rep. Ratcliffe who’s about the snuggle into the hot seat.
What say you, Mr. DNI-designate?