The Senate confirmed Rep. John Ratcliffe as the next director of national intelligence on Thursday.
The number of “nay” votes was the largest ever in opposition to a DNI nomination since the post was created in 2004, according to CNBC.
The United States Senate has confirmed John Ratcliffe as our new Director of National Intelligence. @ODNIgov
— Senate Republicans (@SenateGOP) May 21, 2020
Ratcliffe will replace Richard Grenell and lead the federation of 17 intelligence agencies as the intelligence community is in the middle of another political firestorm over the “unmasking” of Trump associates.
“The DNI’s role is crucial to our national security, and I look forward to working with Director Ratcliffe as he oversees the efforts of our nation’s 17 intelligence agencies,” acting Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Marco Rubio said in a statement, according to Fox.
“In a time when the threats to our nation are many and varied, it is critical to have a Senate-confirmed DNI ensuring the wide array of intelligence agencies are sharing information across lines, coordinating capabilities, and working in the furtherance of our nation’s security using 21st century, cutting edge capabilities.”
Ratcliffe pointed to his work as a federal prosecutor as one of his qualifications to fulfill his promise to deliver intelligence information without bias.
“The best job I ever had was to be the United States attorney and what I loved … was it was an apolitical position,” Ratcliffe told the Senate Intelligence Committee at his hearing on May 5.
“I stood up always to represent the United States of America. Never one party or another. And I very much view that as this role for the DNI.”
Rubio added that the Texas representative understands the responsibility “and I am confident that he will fulfill all of the roles assigned to the DNI with integrity.”
President Donald Trump had originally nominated Ratcliffe to replace former Indiana Sen. Daniel Coats as the DNI when he resigned on July 28, 2019, The Washington Post reported.
At the time, key Republicans said that Ratcliffe lacked the national security expertise required to serve as the DNI and described him as one of the least involved members of the House Intelligence Committee.
Ratcliffe withdrew his nomination on Aug. 2 and Trump blamed the media for treating Ratcliffe “very unfairly.” He was renominated again seven months later.
During Ratcliffe’s confirmation hearing, Republicans and Democrats pressed the congressman on his previous defense of Trump during the impeachment hearings.
“I want to make it very clear, if confirmed as DNI, every whistleblower, past, present and future, will enjoy every protection under the law,” he said.
“Regardless of what anyone wants our intelligence to reflect, the intelligence I will provide if confirmed will not be altered or impacted by outside influence.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.