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intelligence matters

GOP Rep. Ratcliffe narrowly advances to full Senate vote on national intelligence director nomination

President Trump's nominee to be the next director of national intelligence has made it to a full Senate vote.

The Senate Intelligence Committee voted Tuesday to advance Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) to a full chamber vote. The vote was 8-7, along party lines, even though some Republicans had expressed reservations about Ratcliffe taking on the role when he was nominated for the first time last year.

Ratcliffe faced bipartisan criticism over his apparent lack of experience and his propensity toward right-wing conspiracies when nominated to be DNI last year, and Trump eventually withdrew his nomination. Ratcliffe was more dismissive of so-called "deep state" conspiracies during his nomination hearing this time around, and got all eight Republicans on the committee to vote in his favor on Tuesday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he'd bring Ratcliffe's nomination for a full Senate vote as soon as possible.

Tuesday's vote was one of Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) first actions as head of the intelligence committee. Rubio temporarily took over for Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) while the FBI investigates his suspicious stock sales amid the coronavirus crisis.