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

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerA Biden stumble on China? First Black secretary of Senate sworn in Republican Ohio Senate candidate calls on GOP rep to resign over impeachment vote MORE (D-N.Y.) on Sunday slammed Rep. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeFormer Trump officials eye bids for political office Grenell congratulates Buttigieg on becoming second openly gay Cabinet member Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official MORE's (R-Texas) expected nomination for director of national intelligence, calling it a purely political move by President TrumpDonald TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm 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) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump 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 CoatsHow President Biden can hit a home run Former Trump intel chief Coats introduces Biden nominee Haines at hearing Senate Intelligence Committee leaders warn of Chinese threats to national security 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.