Trump said Friday he will not nominate Texas Congressmember John Ratcliffe to replace Dan Coats as director of national intelligence. Trump blamed the “LameStream media” for treating Ratcliffe unfairly as reports emerged over the past week of bipartisan concerns over his qualifications for the role, namely that he exaggerated his accomplishments as a former federal prosecutor in East Texas, claiming he had lots of experience jailing terrorists and helping form George W. Bush’s counterterrorism policy. According to former co-workers, there were no major national security prosecutions during his tenure.
Meanwhile, Trump is reportedly planning to block Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon from becoming acting director when Dan Coats steps down later this month, possibly by ousting her from her current position. Critics say the move would fall within the administration’s pattern of prioritizing political picks over career staffers.