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

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSenate infrastructure talks spill over into rare Sunday session Senate holds sleepy Saturday session as negotiators finalize infrastructure deal An August ultimatum: No recess until redistricting reform is done MORE (D-N.Y.) on Sunday slammed Rep. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeUFOs are an intriguing science problem; Congress must act accordingly How transparency on UFOs can unite a deeply divided nation Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting MORE's (R-Texas) expected nomination for director of national intelligence, calling it a purely political move by President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump PACs brought in over M for the first half of 2021 Chicago owes Trump M tax refund, state's attorney mounts legal challenge Biden hits resistance from unions on vaccine requirement 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) MuellerSenate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel 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 CoatsBiden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Former Trump officials including Fiona Hill helped prepare Biden for Putin summit: report Will the real Lee Hamiltons and Olympia Snowes please stand up? 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.