Donald Trump told the press that he relies on them to help vet his nominees after he withdrew his nomination for Rep. John Ratcliffe as director of national intelligence. According to MSNBC, the president blamed the media for forcing him to withdraw his nominee, while telling assembled reporters that he relies on them to assess his nominees.
Trump announced that he was withdrawing John Ratcliffe as a nominee to replace Dan Coats on Friday after blaming the media for forcing his hand in the matter. He tweeted that the “LameStream Media” was treating his nominee unfairly, and that rather put him through the “slander and libel” from the media, which would make the Republican representative “miserable,” he said that he advised Ratcliffe to stay in Congress.
But later in the day, Trump was speaking to a group of reporters when he told them that he prefers they do the heavy lifting when it comes to investigating his nominees for high-level White House positions.
“I get a name, I give it out to the press and you vet for me. A lot of time you do a very good job. Not always,” Trump said.
Reporters shouted questions to Trump about his statement, asking what that meant about the White House process.
“If you look at the vetting process for the White House, it is very good, but you are part of the vetting process. I give out a name to the press and you vet for me, we save a lot of money that way,” he said.
This time, however, he believes that the media didn’t do their “job” of vetting his nominee.
“But in the case of John, I really believe that he was being treated very harshly and very unfairly,” he said.
President Trump, asked about the White House's vetting process in regards to Rep. Ratcliffe removing his name from consideration for DNI after his qualifications were called into question:
"I give out a name to the press, and they vet for me… we save a lot of money that way." pic.twitter.com/kYY2bSY7Uc
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) August 2, 2019
Ratcliffe was facing intense criticism as a nominee for the role because he lacked experience and the qualifications necessary to lead the country’s intelligence agencies, according to The Washington Post. Many critics voiced concerns that the president was hoping to install someone in the position who would help further his political interests rather than faithfully lead the agency.
Trump recognized that his nominee was facing an uphill battle, according to CNN. According to sources, the president spoke with several people about his concerns that his nominee would be able to make it through the confirmation process.
Trump told social media followers that his new nominee for the role would be revealed shortly.
JUST IN: President Trump says he has “three names” he is considering for DNI after @RepRatcliffe withdrew. Would not give us names, but had kind words for DNI #2 Sue Gordon, despite reports WH was trying to push her out out DNI. pic.twitter.com/bxuXC6DvfD
— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) August 2, 2019