US President Donald Trump’s controversial pick to be the next director of national intelligence, representative John Ratcliffe, withdrew from consideration on Friday amid questions over his experience and credentials.
Trump blamed Ratcliffe’s withdrawal on attacks from the media but the nomination of the Republican lawmaker from Texas had raised broad concerns about the politicization of the sensitive post and his Senate confirmation was far from assured.
Trump said that he would announce a new nominee “shortly” to replace Republican former senator Dan Coats as head of the 17 agencies that make up the US intelligence community.
Trump also took to Twitter, saying “Our great Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe is being treated very unfairly by the LameStream Media”.
“Rather than going through months of slander and libel, I explained to John how miserable it would be for him and his family to deal with these people”, he added.
Trump’s nomination of Ratcliffe to replace National Intelligence Director Dan Coats came after Ratcliffe’s questioning of former special counsel Robert Mueller during a July 23 hearing before the House Judiciary Committee.
Ratcliffe, a former US attorney from Texas has faced questions about whether he padded his resume, The Washington Post reported.
“I was humbled and honored that the president put his trust in me to lead our nation’s intelligence operations and remain convinced that when confirmed, I would have done so with the objectivity, fairness, and integrity that our intelligence agencies need and deserve,” Ratcliffe said in a prepared statement.
Ratcliffe’s comments came shortly after Trump announced the withdrawal while asserting his nominee was treated “very unfairly” by the dominant news media.