The Senate confirmed the Texas U.S. Representative John Ratcliffe as Trump’s Director of Intelligence on Thursday in a 49-44 party line vote. Even Senate Democrats were eager to see Ratcliffe succeed acting Intelligence Director Richard Grenell, a Trump ally who has used his temporary perch to push organizational changes to the national security apparatus.
Ratcliffe has vowed to be independent and deliver “unvarnished intelligence assessments” to Trump.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had questions before the vote, asking Ratcliffe if he agreed with the intelligence community’s initial January 2017 assessment that Russia had interfered in the last presidential election with the goal of putting Trump in the Oval Office.
“He could not confirm it,” Schumer said.
Schumer also asked Ratcliffe to brief the “Gang of Eight” every two weeks on Russian interference in the upcoming election, and to notify Congress within 72 hours if Russia or another country attempted to interfere in the election.
Ratcliffe could not commit.