Juan Williams: Trump, his allies and the betrayal of America

Last week Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsSchiff schedules public hearing with US intel chief  Rod Rosenstein joins law and lobbying firm DHS issues bulletin warning of potential Iranian cyberattack MORE, the director of national intelligence, said it was “frustrating” to hear “rumors” about being fired by President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Anita Hill to Iowa crowd: 'Statute of limitations' for Biden apology is 'up' Sen. Van Hollen releases documents from GAO investigation MORE.

They were more than rumors.

On Sunday, Trump confirmed via Twitter that Coats is leaving his position on Aug. 15.

ADVERTISEMENT

Officially, Coats is resigning — but no one really doubts that he has been pushed out by the president.

The president had already met with aides in late July to figure out a replacement, according to several news reports.

Coats fell out of favor with Trump for publicly confirming Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The Trump appointee also raised eyebrows at a conference when he revealed Trump failed to consult with him before extending an invitation to the White House to Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinThe need for clear thinking about Russia German president expresses 'sorrow' for Holocaust, warns 'spirits of evil' are rising A new era in Russia will allow America to rethink its policy MORE.

Now Coats is on the way out, just for doing his job. That has got to be frustrating.

But it is Coats's proposed replacement that takes this story beyond frustrating and straight to outrageous.

Trump will nominate Rep. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clash over rules White House appoints GOP House members to advise Trump's impeachment team Trump's legal team gets set for impeachment trial MORE (R-Texas) to fill the role. Ratcliffe is a pure political player.

He is a direct threat to the nonpartisan reputation of America’s intelligence agencies and to their ability to protect the country by producing unbiased, first-rate information.

He auditioned for the role last week, when he subjected Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay MORE to harsh questioning when the former special counsel appeared before Congress.

Ratcliffe absurdly accused Mueller of having failed to respect "the bedrock principle of our justice system ... a presumption of innocence," when it came to Trump.

At the second of two hearings that day, Ratcliffe pumped conspiracy theories and innuendo into the congressional record, as he quizzed Mueller about the Steele dossier and the FISA warrant against former Trump aide Carter Page.

These are two red herrings that Trump allies have consistently used to try to discredit Mueller — and to downplay the threat from Russia.

Yes, that John Ratcliffe is now the nominee to be director of national intelligence.

It could have been even worse. Another name reported to have been in the mix was Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesDemocratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' House Democrats release second batch of Parnas materials Democratic lawmaker says Nunes threatened to sue him over criticism MORE (R-Calif.).

This is the mudslinger who lied by saying he had evidence to support Trump’s claim that President Obama “wiretapped” Trump during the 2016 election.

Nunes’s claim to fame comes from his eagerness to promote Trump’s “deep state” and “witch hunt” narratives about the intelligence agencies. The goal is to undermine the credibility of their findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump win.

Ratcliffe and Nunes are enablers for Trump, allowing the White House to turn a blind eye to ongoing Russian interference.

Together, they and other allies of the president promoted baseless charges that Trump’s critics told lies that led to the U.S. counterintelligence probe into Russia’s ties to the Trump campaign.

Their goal remains distracting people from the reality that Russians repeatedly met with Trump aides and spent millions on social media to damage Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Hill.TV's Saagar Enjeti defends Tulsi Gabbard's lawsuit against Hillary Clinton Trump to hold rally on eve of New Hampshire primary MORE.

Instead of facing that ugly truth, Ratcliffe, Nunes and Trump continue to feed conspiracy theories to right-wing websites and conservative talk radio.

Nunes came to Congress in 2003 — a time when Republicans hurled words like “treason” and “unpatriotic” at anyone who dared to criticize then-President George W. Bush’s administration over the Iraq War and its handling of the war on terror.

But after election interference in 2016, 2018 and going into 2020, we are now in a 21st century cyberwar with Russia.

Should we be calling Nunes’s patriotism into question?

“The Russians are absolutely intent on trying to interfere with our elections,” FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to Congress the day before Mueller asserted that the Russian interference is ongoing.

“It wasn’t a single attempt,” Mueller told the House Judiciary Committee last week. “They’re doing it as we sit here.”

Wray emphasized that the U.S. has — even now — not done enough to deter Russian interference.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisFlorida Supreme Court rules convicted felons must pay fines, fees before voting Florida moves to purchase land to protect Everglades from oil drilling Top Latino group: Trump is about to hold a 'fake Christian campaign rally' MORE, a Republican, said in May Russian hackers had breached voting systems in two counties in his state. We still don’t know which counties were affected — or what, if anything, is being done to protect those systems.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffSchiff pleads to Senate GOP: 'Right matters. And the truth matters.' Democrats hammer abuse of power charge, allege Trump put self over country Female impeachment managers say American public know a 'rigged' trial when they see one MORE (D-Calif.) recently said he had been unaware that three Senate races had been attacked by Russia.

Earlier this year, former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenActing DHS secretary says he expects Russia to attempt to interfere in 2020 elections House Homeland Security rip DHS's 'unacceptable' failure to comply with subpoena Trump puts Kushner in charge of overseeing border wall construction: report MORE was reportedly told by White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneySenate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses Hakeem Jeffries tells Senate in impeachment proceedings they should subpoena Baseball Hall of Fame after Jeter vote Video becomes vital part of Democrats' case against Trump MORE not to mention Russian interference in front of Trump for fear it would upset him by calling into question the legitimacy of his presidency.

But wait, it gets worse.

ADVERTISEMENT

Hours after Mueller’s impassioned plea, Senate Republicans, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate Republicans confident they'll win fight on witnesses The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems to present case on abuse of power on trial's third day The Hill's Morning Report - House prosecutes Trump as 'lawless,' 'corrupt' MORE (Ky.), blocked three bills passed by the House of Representatives to safeguard U.S. elections from foreign interference.

Should we be calling into question the patriotism of every Republican who last week voted against the election security bills?

McConnell dismissed the bills as “partisan” and its authors as promoters of a “conspiracy theory.”

“This is an issue of patriotism, of national security, of protecting the very integrity of American democracy, something so many of our forbears died for. And what do we hear from the Republican side? Nothing,” said Sen. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer urges declassification of letter from Pence aide No rush to judgment on Trump — it's been ongoing since Election Day Collins walks impeachment tightrope MORE (N.Y.), the top Democrat in the Senate.

“To this day, Mr. Trump refuses to acknowledge the seriousness of Russian intervention, and the Republican-controlled Senate is unwilling to consider legislation for enhanced election security — maybe because doing either could be seen as an admission that the election was tainted,” the New York Times editorial board correctly pointed out.

“Conceding the obvious might seem like a small price to pay. But the president appears more concerned with nursing his ego than safeguarding American democracy — and that puts us all, Republicans, Democrats and independents, at risk.”

Let history record that a delusional president, concerned only with his own ego, and a traitorous Republican Congress, concerned only with their own reelections, chose to ignore Mueller.

Instead, Ratcliffe is the president's nominee to head national intelligence.

God save us.

Juan Williams is an author, and a political analyst for Fox News Channel.