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Senate confirms Trump’s pick John Ratcliffe as US spy chief

Washington, May 22 (IANS) The US Senate on Thursday confirmed President Donald Trump’s pick Congressman John Ratcliffe from Texas as the next director of national intelligence (DNI).

Senators voted 49-44 on Ratcliffe’s nomination, largely along party lines. Republicans hold 53 seats in the Senate, Xinhua news agency reported.

Ahead of Thursday’s vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised Ratcliffe while Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer vowed to oppose his nomination.

“Today, we’ll confirm the next director of national intelligence. John Ratcliffe will lead the Intelligence Community in countering threats from great powers, rogue nations, and terrorists – and ensuring that work is untainted by political bias,” McConnell said.

In comparison, Schumer said that Ratcliffe has “not demonstrated the qualities for the independence that we should expect.”

“It requires someone with unimpeachable integrity, deep experience and the independence and backbone to speak truth to power. That’s what DNI’s, including the previous one, Dan Coats, did. Unfortunately, Mr. Ratcliffe doesn’t even come close to meeting that high bar,” Schumer added.

A report by a US media outlet said Ratcliffe’s confirmation was the most political vote that has occurred for the DNI position, which has traditionally been viewed as an apolitical position.



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