President Donald Trump has decided to withdraw his nominee for Director of National Intelligence (DNI) amid criticism that Texas congressman John Ratcliffe was under-qualified.
Critics have accused John Ratcliffe of padding his intelligence credentials.
The president tweeted: “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
He continued: “….John
has therefore decided to stay in Congress where he has done such an outstanding
job representing the people of Texas, and our Country. I will be announcing my
nomination for DNI shortly.”
John Ratcliffe thanked President Trump and said he did not want the job to
become “a purely political and partisan issue”.
He tweeted: “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.
“However, I do not
wish for a national security and intelligence debate surrounding my
confirmation, however untrue, to become a purely political and partisan issue.
The country we all love deserves that it be treated as an American issue.”
Speaking to reporters outside the White House on August 2,
President Trump said John Ratcliffe was “treated very badly, very harshly
by the press” and that he believes Ratcliffe “made the right
John Ratcliffe was appointed by President Trump days after his aggressive
questioning of former-Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the ex-FBI director who
led an inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has announced he already submitted his letter of resignation.
General James Clapper told the House Intelligence Committee that “it felt pretty good”.
He had been expected to step aside, as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to appoint his own officials.
Analysts believe that James Clapper is sending a signal to the Trump administration that they must now speed up the transition.
President-elect Donald Trump has denied that his transition team is in turmoil, despite having only filled two postings so far.
One of Donald Trump’s close advisers, Kellyanne Conway, told reporters at Trump Tower in New York that announcements would be made before or after Thanksgiving, which is one week away.
James Clapper will remain in post until President Barack Obama leaves office.
“I submitted my letter of resignation last night which felt pretty good. I’ve got 64 days left,” he said.
Committee members jokingly asked him to stay for four more years.
James Clapper has authority over 17 different agencies including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and the (Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
More than 107,000 employees report to James Clapper with a combined budget of over $52 billion.
In a profile published by Wired magazine only hours before James Clapper’s announcement, he said that he never questioned the morality of his profession.
In his role, James Clapper has often been in the position of defending the National Security Agency (NSA), just one of the covert agencies that his office oversees.
NSA’s image was badly damaged after Edward Snowden revealed how they collect information on American citizens.
During a 2013 congressional hearing, James Clapper was asked: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions, of Americans?”
“No, sir,” he replied.
“It does not?” the incredulous senator responded.
“Not wittingly,” James Clapper said.
“There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect, but not wittingly.”
On November 17, James Clapper was asked if Donald Trump will open up a rapprochement with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but answered that he does not predict a “significant change in Russian behavior”.
James Clapper, 75, has served in the job for six years after previously working for the US Air Force and the Defense Intelligence Agency.
CIA director David Petraeus has resigned from his post after admitting an extramarital affair.
In a statement, David Petraeus said he had submitted his resignation to President Barack Obama, and that he had shown “extremely poor judgement”.
He described his behavior as “unacceptable” for the leader of the nation’s main intelligence agency.
David Petraeus became CIA boss in 2011 after heading international forces in Iraq, then in Afghanistan.
He was the highest-profile military officer of the post-9/11 years, winning plaudits for his role running the “surge” in Iraq and implementing a counter-insurgency strategy in Afghanistan.
David Petraeus’ resignation came just three days after President Barack Obama’s re-election, and prompted a flurry of statements from the White House, intelligence community and General Petraeus himself.
Announcing his decision to stand down, the former general was full of contrition.
“After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extra-marital affair,” David Petraeus said in a statement.
“Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the president graciously accepted my resignation.”
Barack Obama’s statement said Mr Petraeus had “provided extraordinary service to the United States for decades”, citing both his time as CIA director and service to the military.
“By any measure, through his lifetime of service David Petraeus has made our country safer and stronger.”
“Going forward, my thoughts and prayers are with Dave and Holly Petraeus, who has done so much to help military families through her own work.”
CIA deputy director Michael Morell will serve as acting director of the agency, the White House confirmed.
James Clapper, director of national intelligence, thanked David Petraeus for his decades of service: “Dave’s decision to step down represents the loss of one of our nation’s most respected public servants.
“I have spent more than five decades serving our country-in uniform and out-and of all the exceptional men and women I have worked with over the years, I can honestly say that Dave Petraeus stands out as one of our nation’s great patriots.”
CIA director David Petraeus has been married to Holly since 1975
David Petraeus is believed to have feared that his infidelity would eventually become public, and therefore took the decision to quit before he was forced out.
Extra-marital affairs are considered particularly damaging for intelligence officials due to the confidential nature of their work and the risk they could leak national security secrets.
David Petraeus, 60, has been married to Holly, née Knowlton, since 1975, after they meet when he was a military cadet at West Point and she was the daughter of the academy’s superintendent.
When he was sworn in as director of the CIA by Vice President Joe Biden, Holly held the Bible on which he swore his oath of office.
David Howell Petraeus is a retired U.S. Army four-star general and the most celebrated American soldier of his time.
Known as a scholar and a warrior, the West Point graduate is admired as much for his intellect as his tactical ability and charisma on the battlefield.
He oversaw the crafting of the successful 2006 U.S. counterinsurgency measures in Iraq and accepted without hesitation Barack Obama’s request to leave Central Command in 2010 and lend his expertise to the failing international effort in Afghanistan.
Spending 37 years in the military, David Petraeus retired from service and took up his post as director of the CIA on September 6, 2011.
Born in Cornwall-on-Hudson in New York in 1952, David Petraeus is the son of small town librarian Miriam and Sixtus, a sea captain who had emigrated from the Netherlands.
Immediately upon his graduation from high school in 1970 he enrolled as a cadet at West Point Military Academy where he served with distinction – graduating in the top five of his class in 1974.
Just after his graduation he married Holly Knowlton, daughter of West Point superintendent General William A. Knowlton.
Despite his close working relationship with Barack Obama and other Democratic officials, David Petraeus was spoken of as a possible running mate for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney this year.