Supporters praise Rep. Ratcliffe as nominee to lead intelligence community

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- East Texas congressman John Ratcliffe (R-TX) is tapped as Director of National Intelligence. Representative John Ratcliffe, nominated for a second time by President Trump for DNI position, was questioned by the Senate intelligence committee Tuesday morning.

Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) sat before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on Tuesday morning on his nomination to be Director of National Intelligence. (Source: Gray DC)

Ratcliffe was sworn into Congress back in 2015 and now sits on the House Intelligence Committee. He brings experience as a federal prosecutor in East Texas. And he served in local government as mayor of a Dallas suburb from 2004 to 2012.

That’s where he met Lorne Liechty, who was serving on the city council alongside him for eight years. He sang Ratcliffe’s praises as an honest leader, a caring family man and a lifelong friend.

“He’s the kind of guy you hear nothing bad about. He’s a good person, high integrity guy, there’s no other side to John Ratcliffe, he’s genuine,” said Liechty.

Back in 2014, former CIA undercover officer and Republican Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX) met Ratcliffe met in 2014 after tough primary races. Hurd said Ratcliffe’s work prosecuting national security cases makes him the ideal pick to lead the 100,000 employees of the intelligence agencies.

“They need someone with a steady hand and who’s going to go to bat for them and John Ratcliffe is the guy to do that,” said Hurd.

This winter, Ratcliffe became a household name during President Trump’s impeachment trial, a fierce defender of the President’s innocence. Renowned lawyer Ken Starr witnessed Ratcliffe in action when he was serving on an advisory role on the President’s impeachment team.

“He does his homework. He works very hard. He takes the evidence and he follows the evidence where it leads him. I think he’s a superb nominee,” said Starr.

The Director of National Intelligence is a fairly new senior position in U-S history. The first was John Negroponte nominated by President George W. Bush in 2005. Negroponte offered up some advice for the Texan.

“Be realistic about what your capabilities and experiences are. No one expects you to know everything about the job before you even get into it. They want to know a bit about your motivations,” said Negroponte.

Not everyone in the intelligence community sees Ratcliffe as the perfect fit. Critics like former CIA operative Lindsay Moran says Ratcliffe is too partisan for the job.

“That, in conjunction with his lack of experience, makes him a very poor choice. I would love to see someone who had a long career in intelligence and who really understood how intelligence works,” said Moran.

The Senate committee may vote as early as next week on Ratcliffe’s nomination. The vote results would then head to the full Senate. There is currently no timetable for a full Senate vote.

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