Senate approves John Ratcliffe as top U.S. spy

Trump's pick follows 9/11 truther and QAnon conspiracies

The Republican-dominated Senate today confirmed Texas GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe as the new director of national intelligence (DNI). He becomes the fourth person to hold the job for Trump in less than one year.

The vote was 49-to-44, along party lines. Ratcliffe received more votes in opposition than any DNI in the entire 15-year history of the office.

Ratcliffe's verified Twitter account follows a number of right-wing fringe accounts, including 9/11 Truthers, and a handful promoting a QAnon conspiracy theory the FBI has labeled as terrorism. This should be disqualifying, but nothing matters.

What are Ratcliffe's qualifications? Well, the willingness to do whatever the impeached and manifestly unfit president tells him to.

"Blind loyalty," as Reuters quotes a source as describing it:

Ratcliffe is known as one of Trump's most loyal and vocal supporters in Congress. He was a major defender of the Republican president throughout last year's impeachment proceedings. He also lashed out at former special counsel Robert Mueller, who had investigated Trump, when Mueller testified in the House in July.

According to media reports, Trump initially picked Ratcliffe to be DNI because he had liked his aggressive questioning of Mueller during that hearing.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said last summer Ratcliffe had been selected because he had shown "blind loyalty" to Trump.