John Ratcliffe: Trump picks lawmaker again for US spy boss

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Mr Ratcliffe’s first nomination was withdrawn last year amid concerns that he padded his intelligence credentials

Donald Trump has, for a second time, nominated Republican lawmaker John Ratcliffe to serve as US Director of National Intelligence (DNI).

President Trump first chose Mr Ratcliffe in July last year, but withdrew his nomination amid concerns that he was underqualified.

Critics have accused Mr Ratcliffe of embellishing his credentials.

In a tweet, Mr Trump said the Texas congressman was “an outstanding man of great talent!”

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Media captionTrump: ‘Ratcliffe was treated unfairly by press’

Mr Ratcliffe – who sits on Congress’s Ethics and Intelligence Committees – is a Trump loyalist.

He was first nominated days after his high-profile questioning of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller – the ex-FBI director who led an inquiry into allegations of collusion between Russia and Mr Trump’s 2016 election campaign.

But his nomination was later withdrawn after objections from both main parties. The president told reporters Mr Ratcliffe had been “treated very badly, very harshly by the press”.

Mr Ratcliffe has yet to comment publicly on this latest nomination.

The DNI advises the president on intelligence matters, and is responsible for managing 16 government intelligence agencies including the CIA and National Security Agency.

If the president’s nomination is approved by the Republican-controlled Senate, Mr Ratcliff will replace Richard Grenell, another Trump loyalist.

Mr Grenell’s appointment as acting director has also drew criticism, given his lack of relevant experience and a controversial record of pushing conservative policies as a diplomat.

President Trump’s tenure has been marked by public feuds with the US intelligence community. Last year, he told his own intelligence chiefs to “go back to school”, assailing them for being “extremely passive and naive” over Iran.

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