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MSNBC NatSec Analyst Cheers Withdrawal of Trump’s DNI Nominee: ‘We Narrowly Escaped Someone Who Was Entirely Incompetent’

On MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, a former FBI counterintelligence agent cheered the withdrawal of Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe from consideration to be the next Director of National Intelligence: We narrowly escaped someone who was entirely incompetent and unqualified for this job.”

Speaking with Williams, former FBI Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi hailed President Donald Trump’s retreat as “a rare public win for the American public and the intelligence community.” Trump publicly abandoned Ratcliffe earlier in the day after numerous reports found the Texas Republican had exaggerated his intelligence background and Senate Republicans quietly expressed doubts about the pick.

Still, Figliuzzi held up the Ratcliffe choice as a cautionary tale.

“But for his own embellishments on his resume, this guy likely would have been the nominee, and we possibly would have been facing someone who is not only unqualified but also a partisan advocate for the president,” Figliuzzi told Williams. “This is the most significant time since the creation of the DNI position, in terms of adversarial threats that we’re facing. The depth and complexity of them. The fact that even today, we heard reporting that bots are all over the place, trying to convince us who has won a debate, or racially divide us. It is still happening. We need a deeply experienced intelligence professional in this role and Ratcliffe was not that guy.”

“To your point,” Williams added, “the whole world is watching, the whole world can see us, whether we came up with a JV-grade nominee for this critical position, or our president on the South Lawn is saying ‘You guys do the vetting.’

“The world is watching, and our adversarial and allied intelligence services are watching this, this mess,” Figliuzzi agreed. “Here’s the problem with that, there’s going to be a day where the president’s going to have to rely on our intelligence and he’s going to have to confront an adversary with it, or he is going to have to support an ally with it, and everybody is going to say, ‘Who is this DNI? Where are you getting this intelligence from? Is there any credibility to what you’re telling us?’ And as we watch this kind of amateurish approach to vetting, the world is watching and it undermines the credibility of our intelligence services.”

Watch the video above, via MSNBC.

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