WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nexstar) — In a mostly empty hearing room, Texas Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe told senators why he should be the next Director of National Intelligence.
President Donald Trump first tapped Ratcliffe for the job last summer, but withdrew the nomination after a backlash claiming Ratcliffe wasn’t qualified.
But in February, Ratcliffe got the nod once again.
Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn told his colleagues on the Intelligence Committee that as a former U.S. Attorney, and Congressman, Ratcliffe has the necessary experience.
“We need to be able to count on a leader to operate free of personal or political motivation, serving only with the security and safety of the American people in mind, and I believe John Ratcliffe is the person to do that job,” said Cornyn.
But some Democrats are concerned Ratcliffe’s deep loyalty to the President will sway his decision-making.
“This is an extremely important post that demands a candidate with deep experience, credibility on both sides of the aisle,” says Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader. “Representative Ratcliffe meets none of this criteria.”
Ratcliffe says as the nation’s top spy his loyalty would be to the Constitution.
“I won’t shape intelligence for anyone, whether we are talking about the President, members of Congress, any policymakers,” says Ratcliffe.
After Committee approval, Ratcliffe’s nomination would faces a full Senate vote.