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 is reportedly expected to nominate 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 (R-Texas) to replace Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats

Axios, citing three people familiar with the president’s deliberations, reported on the development on Sunday. The news outlet noted that Trump was especially enthusiastic by Ratcliffe’s 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 during his congressional testimony last week.



Ratcliffe denounced some of the findings in Mueller’s report during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, saying that it wasn’t Mueller’s job to “conclusively determine Donald Trump’s innocence.”

“I agree with Chairman Nadler this morning when he said Donald Trump is not above the law,” Ratcliffe said. “But he damn sure should not be below the law which is where Volume II of this report puts him.”

Advisers to the president told Axios that Trump had already been considering Ratcliffe for the position before Mueller’s testimony. He had also reportedly been on Trump’s short list to replace former Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOpponents vow to challenge Justice decision on death penalty Live coverage: Mueller testifies before Congress The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over ‘send her back’ coverage MORE following his dismissal last November. 

CNN reported last week that Ratcliffe has been under consideration for a job within the administration. Though the report did not specify which position. Advisers stressed to Axios that Trump could still change his mind about the decision.  

Coats is expected to step down from his position in the coming days, people familiar with the decision told The New York Times

The White House and the office of the Director of National Intelligence did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.  

Speculation has persisted in recent weeks on whether Coats would leave his position atop the intelligence community. Axios first reported earlier this month that Trump told confidants he was thinking about replacing him. 

It was then followed by a report from Politico that Trump had met with Rep. Devin NunesDevin Gerald NunesHouse Republicans claim victory after Mueller hearings Winners and losers from Robert Mueller’s testimony Live coverage: Mueller testifies before Congress MORE (R-Calif.) about potential replacements for Coats. 

Coats at the time dismissed the reports about his potential exit, telling The Hill that the “rumors” were “frustrating.”

Ratcliffe is a former federal prosecutor who has served in Congress since 2015. He has been repeatedly critical of how Democrats have responded to Mueller’s report on his probe into Russian interference. 

Ratcliffe’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

UPDATED 2:38 p.m.

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