Trump to nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe to be next intelligence director

President Donald Trump announced Friday he will nominate Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe to be his director of national intelligence, after abruptly yanking Ratcliffe’s nomination last year.

“I am pleased to announce the nomination of @RepRatcliffe (Congressman John Ratcliffe) to be Director of National Intelligence (DNI),” Trump tweeted.

Trump wrote that he would have “completed process earlier,” but that Ratcliffe “wanted to wait until after IG Report was finished,” referring to a December report by the Justice Department inspector general on the investigation of possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.

Trump announced — and then withdrew — his selection of Ratcliffe for the same job last year, amid reports that Ratcliffe exaggerated his record on his campaign website. Some Senate Republicans reportedly balked at the nomination.

Yanking Ratcliffe’s nomination in August, Trump tweeted, “Our great Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe is being treated very unfairly by the LameStream Media. Rather than going through months of slander and libel, I explained to John how miserable it would be for him and his family to deal with these people.”

Ratcliffe served this year on Trump’s ceremonial impeachment defense team, pumping out pro-Trump messaging in regular briefings with the media.

A potentially contentious Senate confirmation battle for Ratcliffe, however, could extend the tenure of acting intelligence chief Richard Grenell, who also serves as U.S. ambassador to Germany. Grenell would have had to give up the role in March if Trump had not picked a nominee.

The Federal Vacancies Reform Act allows Grenell to serve longer now that a nomination is made.

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