President Trump’s nominee for Director of National Intelligence Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) seems to poised to sail to confirmation in the GOP-controlled Senate. The deeply conservative Congressman was previously considered for the position in 2019 but ultimately withdrew his name from consideration after it was widely and correctly pointed out that he lacks the national security experience for the position.
Trump, never one to care about the actual qualifications of his appointees so long as they’re loyal to him and right-wing enough to please his base, has clearly decided to ignore the valid concerns about Ratcliffe’s resume and forge ahead with his ill-advised plan to invest him with tremendous institutional power.
Today, the Senate Intelligence Committee held a hearing on Ratcliffe’s nomination and the Congressman’s performance did little to alleviate well-founded fears that he is a partisan hatchet man, a MAGA loyalist who is more interested in furthering the interests of the GOP than serving the truth or the American people.
At one point, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) asked Ratcliffe an incredibly straightforward question.
“Do you believe that President Trump has accurately conveyed the severity of the threat of COVID-19 to the American people?” asked Senator Harris.
“Are you saying presently?” Ratcliffe responded, scrunching his face up in what appeared to be faux confusion.
“We are in the midst of the pandemic presently. Correct,” Harris said dryly.
“Umm. So, repeat the question because I guess I’m misunderstanding. I’m sorry. Has he accurately reflected the status of the pandemic?” dissembled Ratcliffe.
“Conveyed the severity of the pandemic yes. Has he accurately conveyed the severity of COVID-19 to the American people?” Harris said.
“Um, I believe so,” said Ratcliffe, closing ranks around his incompetent boss.
Senator Harris, unwilling to let the blatant mischaracterization of the Trump administration’s disastrous handling of the pandemic go unchallenged, then proceeded to detail the intelligence briefings on the novel coronavirus the president received and his repeated and well-documented downplaying of the virus’s risks to the public.
In short, Senator Harris made it abundantly clear that no rational person can claim in good conscience that Trump accurately conveyed the nature of COVID-19. The evidence to the contrary is overwhelming.
Ratcliffe’s refusal to admit that the president misrepresented the pandemic means he’s either too ignorant to realize the truth or too partisan to admit it. Either trait is disqualifying for such an important position as DNI. He should immediately withdraw his name from consideration again and allow someone more competent and qualified to take the job.
Ratcliffe: Are you saying presently?
Harris: We are in the midst of a pandemic presently
Chile #Kamala brought that “boy don’t play dumb with me” energy as always. You absolutely cannot pull the Okey doke on her 👊🏾 #KamalaHarrisForVP h/t @heatherrosegoes pic.twitter.com/SCob1CDNFd https://t.co/p7muF5pcxK
— BlackWomenViews (@blackwomenviews) May 5, 2020
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