SPONSORED:

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

Last week Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsNew federal cybersecurity lead says 'rumor control' site will remain up through January Biden soars as leader of the free world Lobbying world MORE, the director of national intelligence, said it was “frustrating” to hear “rumors” about being fired by President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts 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 PutinEnforcing the Presidential Records Act is essential for preserving our democracy's transparency, history Putin says doctors and teachers will get first COVID-19 vaccines in new immunization campaign Scarborough says he'll never return to Republican Party after GOP supported Trump 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 RatcliffeHillicon Valley: Government used Patriot Act to gather website visitor logs in 2019 | Defense bill leaves out Section 230 repeal, includes White House cyber czar position | Officials warn hackers are targeting vaccine supply chain Government used Patriot Act to gather website visitor logs in 2019 DNI Ratcliffe: China 'greatest threat' to freedom since World War II 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) MuellerBarr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting 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 NunesBiden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls Overnight Defense: Trump loyalist to lead Pentagon transition | Democrats ask VA for vaccine distribution plan | Biden to get classified intel reports Ex-Nunes aide linked to Biden conspiracy theories will lead Pentagon transition 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 ClintonHillary and Chelsea Clinton to host series based on their book 'Gutsy Women' Democrats see spike in turnout among Asian American, Pacific Islander voters Biden officially announces ex-Obama official Brian Deese as top economic adviser 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 DeSantisRon DeSantis Florida officials were asked to avoid public statements on coronavirus before election: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Dem leaders back smaller COVID-19 relief bill as pandemic escalates DeSantis doubles down on Trump-backed coronavirus approach 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 SchiffBarr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Trump pardons Flynn | Lawmakers lash out at decision | Pentagon nixes Thanksgiving dining hall meals due to COVID-19 Democratic impeachment leaders blast Trump's pardon of Flynn 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 Nielsen'Anonymous' whistleblower Miles Taylor changing locations, employing private security after death threats Biden picks first Latino to lead Homeland Security Judge says acting DHS secretary appointment unlawful, invalidates DACA suspension MORE was reportedly told by White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyMick Mulvaney 'concerned' by Giuliani role in Trump election case On The Money: Senate releases spending bills, setting up talks for December deal | McConnell pushing for 'highly targeted' COVID deal | CFPB vet who battled Trump will lead Biden plans to overhaul agency Consumer bureau vet who battled Trump will lead Biden plans to overhaul agency 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 McConnellBiden backs 0B compromise coronavirus stimulus bill US records over 14 million coronavirus cases On The Money: COVID-19 relief picks up steam as McConnell, Pelosi hold talks | Slowing job growth raises fears of double-dip recession | Biden officially announces Brian Deese as top economic adviser 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 SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms Trump supporters could hand Senate control to Democrats 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.