Top Democrat on Senate Intel panel pans Trump's DNI pick

Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerHillicon Valley: Coronavirus deal includes funds for mail-in voting | Twitter pulled into fight over virus disinformation | State AGs target price gouging | Apple to donate 10M masks Senator sounds alarm on cyber threats to internet connectivity during coronavirus crisis Senator calls for cybersecurity review at health agencies after hacking incident MORE (D-Va.), the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, quickly panned 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's decision to name Richard Grenell, the current U.S. ambassador to Germany, to serve as the next acting director of national intelligence.
 
“The President has selected an individual without any intelligence experience to serve as the leader of the nation’s intelligence community in an acting capacity," Warner said in a statement. 
 
 
Warner argued that the reliance on an acting director, which allows the individual to avoid Senate confirmation, was an apparent effort to "sidestep the Senate’s constitutional authority to advise and consent on such critical national security positions, and flouting the clear intent of Congress when it established the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in 2004."
 
Trump formally announced his decision to tap Grenell for the top intelligence post in a tweet on Wednesday night, saying he had "represented our Country exceedingly well." 
 
But his appointment is likely to set off alarm bells among Democrats and some national security professionals, who have publicly worried in the wake of impeachment that Trump is feeling emboldened. 
 
Grenell is viewed as a Trump loyalist and is one of the more trusted members of the administration and is close with Trump’s family, especially Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son. 
 
Warner pledged that he would work to make sure "the work of our intelligence professionals is never interfered with or manipulated for political ends.”

“The intelligence community deserves stability and an experienced individual to lead them in a time of massive national and global security challenges," he said.

"And at a time when the integrity and independence of the Department of Justice has been called into grave question, now more than ever our country needs a Senate-confirmed intelligence director who will provide the best intelligence and analysis, regardless of whether or not it’s expedient for the President who has appointed him," he continued. 
 
Grenell has served as U.S. ambassador to Germany since April 2018, when he was confirmed by the Senate in a largely party-line vote.
 
He served during the George W. Bush administration as the director of communications and public diplomacy for the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.