- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Sen. Chris Murphy on Monday dismissed Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), President Donald Trump’s nominee to become the next director of national intelligence, as a “television character” who is an “inappropriate choice” for the historically nonpartisan post.
“I don't know this guy,” Murphy (D-Conn.) said on MSNBC. “I think he's a television character that the president has watched on TV, and he wants to put somebody in this position who's going to agree with his political take on intelligence.”
The president on Sunday announced his plans to tap Ratcliffe to replace Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, who will step down on Aug. 15. The Texas congressman had reportedly been a top candidate for the role, and Trump last week praised his combative questioning of Robert Mueller during the former special counsel’s appearance on Capitol Hill.
“I'll certainly do my own evaluation, but it strikes me as a very inappropriate choice for the job in a moment when we are trying to lift intelligence out of the political soup,” Murphy said, accusing Ratcliffe of acting as “one of the president's accomplices in trying to politicize intelligence.”
Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.) on Monday also predicted broad Democratic resistance to the administration’s efforts to confirm Ratcliffe, a former U.S. attorney and mayor of Heath, Texas, a town roughly 8,000.
“I’m not sure he's qualified for the job,” Peters told CNN.
“The president doesn't want people to challenge him, and when you think about an intelligence director, you want independent advice,” he said. “You want to have the best available intelligence to make decisions that are based on facts and reality. That is not something our current president wants.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) tweeted Sunday that the president "has made his disdain for the intelligence community clear" since his first day in office and said America's national intelligence director "should be above partisan politics, speak truth to power, and resist Trump's abuses of authority."
Warren concluded: "John Ratcliffe doesn't fit that bill."