Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMcConnell under fire for burying election bills in 'legislative graveyard' Washington Post columnist accuses McConnell of doing 'Putin's bidding' Collins says she hasn't decided on 2020 run, criticizes 'dark money groups' MORE (D-N.Y.) on Sunday slammed Rep. John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeConservatives call on Pelosi to cancel August recess The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Farm Credit — Dems grapple with Mueller fallout Winners and losers from Robert Mueller's testimony MORE's (R-Texas) expected nomination for director of national intelligence, calling it a purely political move by President TrumpDonald John TrumpIlhan Omar defends Cummings after Trump attacks: He 'wants to distract with his racism' Donald Trump: 'The Great Divider' De Blasio: Democratic debates should address 'why did we lose and what do we do differently' MORE.
"It’s clear that Rep. Ratcliffe was selected because he exhibited blind loyalty to President Trump with his demagogic questioning of former Special Counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump calls for probe of Obama book deal Democrats express private disappointment with Mueller testimony Kellyanne Conway: 'I'd like to know' if Mueller read his own report MORE," Schumer said in a statement.
"If Senate Republicans elevate such a partisan player to a position that requires intelligence expertise and non-partisanship, it would be a big mistake," he added.
Trump on Sunday announced that Ratcliffe would replace Dan CoatsDaniel (Dan) Ray CoatsSeize the opportunity to make real intelligence reform Trump met with Nunes to discuss potential replacements for Dan Coats: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke MORE, who had held the role of director of national intelligence for more than two years, leading the intelligence community through a crucial period following Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Coats, a former Republican senator from Indiana, was approved overwhelmingly by the Senate in an 85-12 vote in March 2017.
Axios reported earlier Sunday that Trump was impressed by Ratcliffe’s questioning of former special counsel Robert Mueller during high-profile congressional hearings on Wednesday.
Ratcliffe rebuked Mueller’s report during his first hearing before the House Judiciary Committee and suggested he violated Justice Department principles by stating he did not exonerate Trump on allegations of obstruction of justice.
He was also heavily involved in GOP efforts to investigate the FBI’s actions in the early stages of the Russia investigation when Republicans controlled the House in the last Congress.
It is unclear how Ratcliffe's nomination will be received by the Senate, though his position as a current member of Congress and member of the House Intelligence Committee is likely to help his candidacy among Republican senators.