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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: A Trump ‘yes’ man as the next intelligence chief? No thanks

John Ratcliffe
Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) asks questions of former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III on July 24.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

To the editor: Great presidents do not surround themselves with “yes” men and women. They seek advisors who have strong and diverse opinions. (“Trump picks loyalist John Ratcliffe to replace Dan Coats as U.S. intelligence chief,” July 28)

George Washington had polar opposites Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton in his Cabinet. Abraham Lincoln had Salmon P. Chase, William H. Seward and Edwin Stanton, who heartily and vocally disagreed with the president on many issues. John F. Kennedy hired the “best and the brightest,” regardless of political affiliation.

Dissenting voices were hallmarks of these administrations.

President Trump, on the other hand, surrounds himself with appointees who will flatter and feed his fragile ego. As the departure of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and the nomination of Trump loyalist Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) to replace him shows, if appointees disagree with the president, they’re out.

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Thin skin does not make a good leader.

Rhys Thomas, Valley Glen


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