Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) was caught in a lie about his beliefs in the so-called "deep state" during his Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday.
Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) questioned Ratcliffe on previous statements he and the president made previously.
"Last year the president defended nominating you for the DNI position stating that 'you would do an incredible job and we need somebody like that in there. We need somebody strong that can rein it in. Because as I think you've all learned, the intelligence agencies have run amok.' What do you think he meant by that?" the senator asked, quoting President Donald Trump.
"I don't know. I saw the comment, senator," Ratcliffe claimed. "I made clear that again, first of all, I have made clear as a just sit to you one of the reasons that of what disposition, I've made that without portraying any conversations. But that sentiment I expressed to the president, and he understands that, that I am looking forward to this position because it's apolitical and the intelligence that I will deliver is unvarnished or --"
Heinrich interrupted asking if Ratcliffe believed that the intelligence committee had "run amok."
"I have never said that," said Ratcliffe.
"President Trump has repeatedly and without any basis, in my view, accused the hard-working men and women of the intelligence community of working to undermine his administration. Do you think -- do you believe that there is a quote-unquote deep state in the international community?" Heinrich asked.
"I don't know what that means. Senator [Susan] Collins (R-ME) and I talked about that in our call I don't know what that is," Ratcliffe claimed.
"So, would you agree that it would be inappropriate and in some context illegal to remove or reassign to screen or otherwise discriminate against career international community personnel for political reasons including on the basis of their work assignments in previous administrations?" asked Heinrich. He's asking because Trump has done exactly this.
Ratcliffe said "yes."
What is interesting about Ratcliffe's claim that he doesn't know what the "deep state" means, is that he gets away from saying he does or does not believe it. The reality is he's already tweeted that he believes "There's a secret society within the FBI," just two years ago, as former national security spokesperson Ned Price pointed out.
Fellow far-right officials were grateful for Ratcliffe's nomination, saying he would curb the so-called "deep state."
Perfect choice! Dan Coats to leave post as director of national intelligence as Trump selects Rep. John Ratcliffe… https://t.co/u5wQI8dPSn— Jason Chaffetz (@Jason Chaffetz) 1564348372.0
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