Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) on Tuesday fielded questions from members of the Senate Intelligence Committee during his confirmation hearing for the role of national intelligence director, CNN reported.
Senators questioned Ratcliffe over his views on the intelligence community’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential elections, treatment of whistleblowers under the Trump administration and origin of the new coronavirus in China.
Ratcliffe told lawmakers that his initial focus would be to seek answers to questions about the origins of the virus and help address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic if confirmed for the DNI role.
"If confirmed, the intelligence community will be laser-focused on getting all of the answers that we can regarding how this happened, when this happened, and I commit to providing with as much transparency to you as the law will allow and with due regard for sources and methods," he said.
In his opening statement, Ratcliffe vowed to provide Congress and the president with impartial intelligence if confirmed. "Let me be very clear. Regardless of what anyone wants our intelligence to reflect, the intelligence I will provide, if confirmed, will not be impacted or altered as a result of outside influence,” he said.