Trump says media is part of vetting his nominees: 'We save a lot of money that way'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMilitary personnel to handle coronavirus patients at facilities in NYC, New Orleans and Dallas Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has total of 20 patients: report Fauci says that all states should have stay-at-home orders MORE on Friday defended the vetting process at the White House, telling the news media that he allows it to do much of the heavy lifting while simultaneously blaming it for the withdrawal of his nominee to lead intelligence agencies.

Trump spoke to reporters at the White House just hours after he announced he would no longer nominate Rep. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeGOP presses for swift Ratcliffe confirmation to intel post Acting director of National Counterterrorism Center fired: report Acting director of national intelligence begins hiring freeze: reports MORE (R-Texas) as director of national intelligence. He lamented that the congressman "is being treated very unfairly by the LameStream Media" and that the nomination process would be "miserable."

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But on the South Lawn, he suggested coverage of his nominees was part of the vetting process.

"I get a name, I give it out to the press and you vet for me. A lot of time you do a very good job. Not always," Trump told reporters. "If you look at the vetting process for the White House, it is very good, but you are part of the vetting process. I give out a name to the press and you vet for me, we save a lot of money that way."

"But in the case of John, I really believe that he was being treated very harshly and very unfairly," he added.

Ratcliffe's potential nomination was undone as Republican senators expressed unease about Trump's pick, emphasizing that the director of national intelligence should be a nonpartisan post.

Several news reports in recent days have also described Ratcliffe as overstating parts of his biography relating to his work on terrorism cases as a federal prosecutor in Texas.

Ratcliffe is the latest Trump nominee to bow out of consideration amid scrutiny of their record and past remarks.

In the past 15 months, Ronny Jackson withdrew as Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, Patrick ShanahanPatrick Michael ShanahanBoeing pleads for bailout under weight of coronavirus, 737 fallout Esper's chief of staff to depart at end of January Defense chief calls on European allies to be wary of China's investments, blasts Russia MORE bowed out as Defense secretary nominee, Stephen MooreStephen MooreStephen Moore: Stimulus bill 'doesn't create income,' 'encourage production' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Airbnb - Senate overcomes hurdles, passes massive coronavirus bill Sunday shows - Tuesday elections, coronavirus response dominate MORE and Herman CainHerman CainOn The Money: Trump adviser presses House to make Bezos testify | Kudlow says tax-cut proposal coming this fall | NY Fed says Boeing woes could hurt GDP | Delta aims to be first carbon neutral airline The Hill's Morning Report — AG Barr, GOP senators try to rein Trump in Republicans expect Trump to withdraw controversial Fed nominee MORE pulled out consideration for the Federal Reserve Board and Heather Nauert took herself out of the running for U.N. ambassador.