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Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) speaks during a House Intelligence Committee impeachment inquiry hearing into U.S. President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 13, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott

Trump again picks Rep. John Ratcliffe to be nation’s top intelligence official

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Friday picked Rep. John Ratcliffe again to be the nation’s top intelligence official, overseeing the the 17 U.S. spy agencies that the president has repeatedly scorned.

The president earlier nominated the two-term Republican congressman from Texas to be the new director of national intelligence. But in early August, Trump abruptly withdrew his name amid growing questions about Ratcliffe’s qualifications for the job. Democrats and Republicans criticized him for having little experience in the field of intelligence.

“John is an outstanding man of great talent!” Trump said in announcing his choice in a tweet.

If confirmed by the Senate, Ratcliffe would replace Richard Grenell, a Trump loyalist who is currently serving as acting national intelligence director while keeping his title as U.S. ambassador to Germany.

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