Trump's intelligence director pick withdraws

Written by The Associated Press | Aug 3, 2019 8:36 AM

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

(Washington) -- President Donald Trump's pick for national intelligence director, Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe, has withdrawn from consideration after just five days of growing questions about his experience and qualifications.

Democrats had openly dismissed the Republican congressman as an unqualified partisan and Republicans offered only lukewarm and tentative expressions of support.

The announcement leaves the intelligence community without a permanent, Senate-confirmed leader at a time when the U.S. government is grappling with North Korea's nuclear ambitions, the prospect of war with Iran and the anticipated efforts of Russia or other foreign governments to interference in the American political system.

Trump says Ratcliffe decided to stay in Congress so as to avoid "months of slander and libel."

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