Panel approves Ratcliffe for spy chief, sends to full Senate

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By MARY CLARE JALONICK

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate intelligence committee has approved the nomination of Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe to be director of national intelligence, sending the nomination to the Senate floor for his likely confirmation. Republicans have praised Ratcliffe, who has been ardent defender of President Donald Trump, while Democrats have been skeptical that he would serve with the independence they say is crucial for the job. Ratcliffe sought to shed his reputation as a Trump loyalist at his confirmation hearing earlier this month, insisting he would lead the nation’s intelligence agencies without partisan influence. Tuesday’s vote was the first official action by the committee’s new acting chairman, Sen. Marco Rubio.

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