U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe expected to replace Dan Coats as national intelligence director

Texas Tribune News

Congressional candidate John Ratcliffe speaks with the Lamar-Delta Teachers & School Employees Association at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas on March 24, 2014.
Congressional candidate John Ratcliffe speaks with the Lamar-Delta Teachers & School Employees Association at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas on March 24, 2014.
Cooper Neill

President Donald Trump is expected to nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe, a Heath Republican, to replace Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, several outlets are reporting. Axios broke the news, citing three sources familiar with the president’s deliberations who said Trump was thrilled by Ratcliffe’s admonishment of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller in last week’s House Judiciary Committee hearing.

“The special counsel’s job, nowhere does it say that you were to conclusively determine Donald Trump’s innocence or that the special counsel report should determine whether or not to exonerate him,” Ratcliffe said to Mueller.

Ratcliffe, a former federal prosecutor first elected in 2014, argued that Mueller went beyond his bounds by making clear the investigation didn’t exonerate the president.

Axios was followed by several other outlets, including the New York Times, in reporting that Coats is expected to step down soon. Coats has spent his tenure in the administration at odds with the president.