Representative John Ratcliffe questions former Special Counsel Robert Mueller during a House Intelligence Committee hearing on the Office of Special Counsel’s investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 24, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump says his pick for national intelligence director has decided to withdraw from the running, citing unfair media coverage.

In a tweet Friday, Trump said Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas had decided to stay in Congress. Questions about Ratcliffe’s experience have dogged him since Trump announced his candidacy five days ago.

Trump didn’t cite any specific media reports, but tweeted that “rather than going through months of slander and libel,” he would be returning to Capitol Hill.

Trump accepted the resignation of former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats last week.

Ratcliffe is a frequent Trump defender who fiercely questioned former special counsel Robert Mueller during a House Judiciary Committee hearing last week. Intelligence experts had criticized his lack of experience in the field of intelligence.

AP

 

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