Report: Trump nixed Stewart for intelligence post after learning of ‘Mussolini’ remarks

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Bloomberg reports Friday that President Donald Trump was close to nominating Rep. Chris Stewart as the next Director of National Intelligence until he was made aware of a 2016 video clip where Stewart called Trump “our Mussolini.”

The item was part of a larger report about Trump’s reaction to a briefing where a senior intelligence official told the House Intelligence Committee that Russia was actively working to help Trump win the 2020 election.

Trump was close to nominating Representative Chris Stewart, a Utah Republican, as director of national intelligence, according to two people familiar with the deliberations. But that idea was scrapped when Trump learned of a 2016 video clip in which Stewart said “Donald Trump does not represent Republican ideals, he is our Mussolini.”

According to the New York Times, Stewart pushed back against the assessment that Russia was pushing for a Trump re-election.

Stewart bashed Trump during the 2016 Republican primary, making the Mussolini comparison during a speech at the Hinckley Institute of Politics.

Since that time, Stewart has become one of Trump’s most vocal supporters in Congress.