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Leading the Intelligence Community Will Be a Test for Ratcliffe

Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) was confirmed last Thursday as President Donald Trump’s top intelligence adviser in a party line Senate vote, putting an inexperienced and highly partisan legislator at the top of the nation’s intelligence enterprise during a time of unprecedented threats to our security.

Ratcliffe made a name for himself defending the president, noisily and often falsely. He is the least qualified director of national intelligence (DNI) in the position’s short history. Ratcliffe’s thin experience – he had been on the House Intelligence Committee for just a few months when Trump first nominated him for the job last year– became an obstacle to his being confirmed, even by a Republican Senate. By law the position must be filled by a person with “extensive national experience.” When it became clear that Ratcliffe had few qualifications for the job and had badly misrepresented his experience, the president withdrew his name in August before the nomination had even been made official.

The above excerpt was originally published in Just Security.