Notre Dame alumnus withdraws from consideration as director of national intelligence
Observer Staff Report | Tuesday, July 30, 2019
This report was updated August 2 at 2:45 p.m.
Notre Dame alumnus and congressman John Ratcliffe (R-TX) withdrew from consideration as the next director of national intelligence, President Donald Trump announced Friday in a tweet.
“Our great Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe is being treated very unfairly by the LameStream Media,” Trump wrote in his tweet. “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 announced he was withdrawing from consideration in a statement provided minutes after Trump’s tweet.
The congressman said he “remains convinced” that if he was confirmed, he would have served the country with integrity and objectivity.
“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,” the statement said, referencing the conversation around his potential appointment. “The country we all love deserves that it be treated as an American issue. Accordingly, I have asked the President to nominate someone other than me for this position.”
Trump had announced Ratcliffe as a nominee in a tweet Sunday. If confirmed by the United States Senate, Ratcliffe would have replaced Dan Coats, a former Indiana senator who held the position since March 2017.
”I am pleased to announce that highly respected Congressman John Ratcliffe of Texas will be nominated by me to be the Director of National Intelligence,” Trump said in the Sunday tweet. “A former U.S. Attorney, John will lead and inspire greatness for the Country he loves.”
According to Ratcliffe’s campaign website and the United States Congress Biographical Directory, he earned a scholarship to Notre Dame and graduated after three years in 1987. He went on to earn his J.D. from Southern Methodist University in 1989.
A New York Times profile of the congressman said he was elected to Congress in 2014 after defeating incumbent congressman Ralph Hall in the Republican primary. Ratcliffe, who gained support from the tea party in his initial bid for Congress, drew national attention after he “sharply challenged” former special counsel Robert Mueller at a House Judiciary Committee hearing July 24.