Trump’s pick for national intelligence director is withdrawing
John Ratcliffe has decided to remain in the House of Representatives.
US President Donald Trump has said his pick for national intelligence director has decided to withdraw from the running.
Mr Trump tweeted that Republican representative John Ratcliffe of Texas had decided to stay in Congress.
Questions about Mr Ratcliffe’s experience have dogged him since Mr Trump announced his candidacy five days ago.
....John has therefore decided to stay in Congress where he has done such an outstanding job representing the people of Texas, and our Country. I will be announcing my nomination for DNI shortly.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 2, 2019
Mr Trump did not cite any specific media reports, but tweeted that “rather than going through months of slander and libel”, he would be returning to Capitol Hill.
Mr Trump accepted the resignation of former director of national intelligence Dan Coats last week.
Mr Ratcliffe is a frequent defender of Mr Trump who fiercely questioned former special counsel Robert Mueller during a House Judiciary Committee hearing last week.
Intelligence experts had criticised his lack of experience in the field of intelligence.
Mr Ratcliffe said: “While I am and will remain very grateful to the president for his intention to nominate me as director of national intelligence, I am withdrawing from consideration.
“I was humbled and honoured that the president put his trust in me to lead our nation’s intelligence operations and remain convinced that when confirmed, I would have done so with the objectivity, fairness and integrity that our intelligence agencies need and deserve.
“However, I do not wish for a national security and intelligence debate surrounding my confirmation, however untrue, to become a purely political and partisan issue.”