Senate confirms Ratcliffe as national intelligence chief

senate
In this May 5, 2020, photo, Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee during his nomination hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. President Donald Trump’s pick to be the nation’s top intelligence official, Ratcliffe, is adamant that if confirmed he will not allow politics to color information he takes to the president. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

By MARY CLARE JALONICK

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has confirmed Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe as director of national intelligence, installing a new head of the nation’s intelligence agencies at a time when President Donald Trump has ousted multiple officials. The Texas Republican will replace Richard Grenell, the current acting director who has overseen many of the personnel changes. The last Senate-confirmed director, former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats, left the post last summer after clashing with Trump. Democrats say they are skeptical that Ratcliffe will be an independent leader, despite his assurances during his confirmation hearing. The Republican has been an ardent defender of the president through House impeachment and he investigations into Russian interference.