Trump pick for national intelligence director is withdrawing

U.S. & World

FILE – In this Wednesday, July 24, 2019, file photo, Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas., questions former special counsel Robert Mueller as he testifies before the House Intelligence Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trump says John Ratcliffe, his pick for national intelligence director, to stay in Congress, cites unfair media coverage. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says his pick for national intelligence director has decided to withdraw from the running, citing unfair media coverage.

In a tweet Friday, Trump said Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas had decided to stay in Congress. Questions about Ratcliffe’s experience have dogged him since Trump announced his candidacy five days ago.

Trump didn’t cite any specific media reports, but tweeted that “rather than going through months of slander and libel,” he would be returning to Capitol Hill.

Trump accepted the resignation of former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats last week.

Ratcliffe is a frequent Trump defender who fiercely questioned former special counsel Robert Mueller during a House Judiciary Committee hearing last week. Intelligence experts had criticized his lack of experience in the field of intelligence.

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