Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX), President Donald Trump's nominee to be the next director of national intelligence, has been one of the president's fiercest supporters, particularly in regard to collusion -- and alleged anti-Trump bias in the FBI.
And that, writes, Paul Waldman in the Washington Post, does not bode well for efforts to prevent Russian interference in US elections.
"We all know why Ratcliffe was picked, and it’s not because he has served on the House Intelligence Committee for six whole months," Waldman says.
"It’s because Donald Trump saw him on TV yelling about how the Russia investigation was a big witch hunt," Waldman continues. "And it’s the issue of Russia that makes his nomination particularly disturbing."
Waldman notes that Trump has succeeded in filling his administration with complete incompetents. But nominations like Ratcliffe's are worse than others.
"But some nominations Trump makes to allay his insecurities, like finding a director of national intelligence by watching Fox to see which Republican congressmen will offer the angriest dismissal of everything we know to be true about Russia and 2016, are particularly dangerous."
Waldman worries Ratcliffe is a little too close to his boss.
"What happens when new intelligence comes in suggesting that Russia is once again going after the American election system? Is John Ratcliffe going to rush to the White House to insist to Trump that something has to be done? Or are the two men going to agree that Putin’s intentions are pure and it’s all a bunch of fake news?"
He's not optimistic.
"We can already guess the answer to this -- it’s the latter. Indeed, that’s why Trump wants to hire him."