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Trump Names Republican Lawmaker To Be U.S. Director Of Intelligence


U.S. Representative John Ratcliffe was previously nominated for the position, but had his name withdrawn over questions about his qualifications.

U.S. President Donald Trump says he will for the second time nominate Republican Representative John Ratcliffe to be his director of national intelligence (DNI) and oversee the country's 17 spy agencies.

"John is an outstanding man of great talent!" Trump wrote on Twitter on February 28.

Trump had previously nominated the Texas congressman, a vocal supporter of the president, for the position, but he later withdrew his name amid bipartisan questions about his qualifications and lack of intelligence experience.

If he is confirmed by the Senate, Ratcliffe would replace Richard Grenell, another Trump loyalist, who is now acting national intelligence director while also serving as U.S. ambassador to Germany and special envoy to Kosovo and Serbia.

Grenell's appointment two weeks ago was also criticized by Democrats and some Republicans over his lack of intelligence experience and other matters.

Grenell replaced Joseph Maguire, who has served as acting DNI since August. Maguire took the post following the resignation of Dan Coats, who had a strained relationship with Trump.

Coats had supported the U.S. intelligence community's conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election with the goal of promoting Trump over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

The DNI post was created after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on the United States. It oversees the 17 U.S. civilian and military intelligence agencies.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP
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