The Senate confirmed Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX-04) on Thursday as President Trump’s top intelligence official in a vote straight along party lines.
Ratcliffe became Trump’s second permanent Director of National Intelligence (DNI) in a 49-44 vote, with all Democrats opposed. The vote along party lines was the first since the position was created following the 9/11 attack as generally there are never more than a dozen senators voting against a confirmation for the position, according to CNN.
Ratcliffe was congratulated by top Republicans for securing the role.
Congratulations to my friend and fellow Texan John Ratcliffe. He will do a phenomenal job. https://t.co/VaYFvfDzyo
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) May 21, 2020
Congratulations to John Ratcliffe on being confirmed as the Director of United States National Intelligence! John will continue to serve this Country well in his new role as he works to protect America’s interests and keep the people of this great Nation safe.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) May 21, 2020
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) May 21, 2020
As the director, Ratcliffe will be a key player in decided what documents will be released publicly concerning congressional investigations concerning the Obama administration and former Vice President Joe Biden. He will also be leading the intelligence community’s response to Russian meddling in the 2020 election, something he has said he believes will continue to happen, according to CNN.
Ratcliffe also received pushback for the confirmation among members of Congress, who said he was unfit to hold the position and too staunch of a support of Trump.
Ratcliffe is deeply unfit to be DNI. He has little experience, has trafficked in conspiracy theories, & is poisonously partisan in a job that requires objective professionalism to make sure executive branch & Congress have solid evidence to make decisions. https://t.co/UlxOi2vZcm
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) May 21, 2020
The Senate just confirmed John Ratcliffe to be the next Director of National Intelligence. Ratcliffe has proven that his loyalty is to Donald Trump, not the truth. This is yet another unqualified Trump nominee rubber stamped by Mitch McConnell, and a sad day for our democracy.
— Ron Wyden (@RonWyden) May 21, 2020
Ratcliffe was originally nominated by Trump following the resignation of former DNI Dan Coates in July 2019. Trump later withdrew his nomination, according to The Daily Caller, saying there would be a difficult nomination process. He nominated Ratcliffe again in February.
Ratcliffe will replace the current acting director Richard Grenell.
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]