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McConnell takes wait-and-see approach to intel nominee

Posted at 12:02 PM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-30 15:35:11-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is joining his fellow Republicans in taking a wait-and-see approach to President Donald Trump’s nominee for national intelligence director, saying that he doesn’t know him.

McConnell says he looks forward to meeting with Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe, the president’s choice for the job.

Ratcliffe would replace Dan Coats, a former Indiana senator who had broad support in Congress and had repeatedly clashed with Trump.

McConnell says “generally speaking, I’d lean toward the president’s nominees.” But McConnell declined to fully endorse Ratcliffe. Several other Republican senators also said they had not yet met Ratcliffe and needed to hear from him before taking a position.

In a statement Sunday, McConnell praised Coats as a leader who would deliver “unvarnished hard truths.”