Openly gay U.S. ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell slammed Mayor Pete Buttigieg this week for his repeated false attacks on Vice President Mike Pence, saying that Buttigieg was pushing a hate-crime hoax just like Jussie Smollett.
Grenell made the remarks Thursday night on Fox News' "The Story with Martha MacCallum," where he also defended the character of both Mike and Karen Pence.
"Mayor Pete has been pushing this hate hoax along the lines of Jussie Smollett for a very long time now, several weeks, and I find it really ironic that Mayor Pete stayed silent about this so-called hate hoax on him and others during 2015, 2016, 2017 when Mike Pence was governor," Grenell said. "There was total silence. It’s ironic that right about now when he’s starting his fundraising apparatus to run for president that he comes up with this idea and this attack."
"One of the things that really bothers me about this attack is that Mike Pence is a friend of mine. Mike and Karen are great people. They are godly people. They’re followers of Christ. They don’t have hate in their heart for anyone. They know my partner, they have accepted us. You ask me do we agree philosophically on every single issue? No," Grenelle added.
Buttigieg has repeatedly attacked Pence's Christian faith and as Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro wrote last week, "there is no evidence that Pence has ever said an unkind word about or done an unkind thing to Buttigieg."
Shapiro noted that Buttigieg's book contained no negative references about Pence and that Pence responded to Buttigieg coming out of the closet as a gay man in 2015 by saying, "I hold Mayor Buttigieg in the highest personal regard. I see him as a dedicated public servant and a patriot."
During a recent appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," Buttigieg said of Pence: "He’s nice. If he were here, you would think he’s a nice guy to your face. But he’s also fanatical."
During an LGBT event, Buttigieg said of Pence: "Speaking only for myself, I can tell you that if me being gay was a choice, it was a choice that was made far, far above my pay grade. And that’s the thing I wish the Mike Pences of the world would understand. If you’ve got a problem with who I am, your problem is not with me. Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator."
Buttigieg also made unnerving comments — coming from a government official — about Pence's faith, saying: "It's time for us to move on toward a more inclusive and more humane vision of faith than what this Vice President represents."
Karen Pence responded to Buttigieg's remarks by noting that he was gaining "some notoriety" by making the attacks, adding: "I think in our country, we need to understand you shouldn’t be attacked for what your religious beliefs are and I think kids need to learn that at a young age that this is OK, what faith people have; we don’t attack them for their faith."