Schumer: Ratcliffe picked for top intel position due to his 'blind loyalty' to Trump

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerJoe Biden can't lead the charge from his home in Delaware Texas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Pelosi not invited by Trump to White House coronavirus relief bill's signing MORE (D-N.Y.) on Sunday slammed 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's (R-Texas) expected nomination for director of national intelligence, calling it a purely political move by President TrumpDonald John TrumpCuomo grilled by brother about running for president: 'No. no' Maxine Waters unleashes over Trump COVID-19 response: 'Stop congratulating yourself! You're a failure' Meadows resigns from Congress, heads to White House MORE.

"It’s clear that Rep. Ratcliffe was selected because he exhibited blind loyalty to President Trump with his demagogic questioning of former Special Counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE," Schumer said in a statement.

"If Senate Republicans elevate such a partisan player to a position that requires intelligence expertise and non-partisanship, it would be a big mistake," he added.

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Trump on Sunday announced that Ratcliffe would replace Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsWe weren't ready for a pandemic — imagine a crippling cyberattack GOP presses for swift Ratcliffe confirmation to intel post Experts report recent increase in Chinese group's cyberattacks MORE, who had held the role of director of national intelligence for more than two years, leading the intelligence community through a crucial period following Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. 

Coats, a former Republican senator from Indiana, was approved overwhelmingly by the Senate in an 85-12 vote in March 2017.

Axios reported earlier Sunday that Trump was impressed by Ratcliffe’s questioning of former special counsel Robert Mueller during high-profile congressional hearings on Wednesday.

Ratcliffe rebuked Mueller’s report during his first hearing before the House Judiciary Committee and suggested he violated Justice Department principles by stating he did not exonerate Trump on allegations of obstruction of justice.

He was also heavily involved in GOP efforts to investigate the FBI’s actions in the early stages of the Russia investigation when Republicans controlled the House in the last Congress.

It is unclear how Ratcliffe's nomination will be received by the Senate, though his position as a current member of Congress and member of the House Intelligence Committee is likely to help his candidacy among Republican senators.