GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe's intense Mueller questioning may have been an audition for President Trump

John Ratcliffe.
(Image credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) might have some career ambitions on his mind.

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified for the House on Wednesday, largely deferring questions from both parties back to his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. That deference lead Ratcliffe to go on a rant against Mueller, intensely asking him to name a time when an "investigated person was not exonerated because their innocence was not conclusively determined."

Ratcliffe's questioning pertained to the second half of Mueller's report, which outlined several instances where President Trump may have tried to obstruct Mueller's probe but did not recommend that Trump be charged with obstruction of justice. Mueller has repeatedly said that his report did not exonerate Trump of obstruction, prompting Ratcliffe to speak for much of his allotted time on why he thought Mueller was wrong.

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While other members of the House Judiciary Committee are known for their grandstanding questioning during hearings, Ratcliffe isn't one of them. But as Politico's Natasha Bertrand pointed out during the hearing, Ratcliffe "is among the names being floated for Director of National intelligence. A recent Axios report indicated Trump is "eager" to fire current director Dan Coats, suggesting Ratcliffe is trying to get on Trump's good side.

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