President Donald Trump is expected to name U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell to be the acting director of national intelligence, sources have confirmed to The Daily Wire.
“He would take over from Joseph Maguire, who has served as the acting director of national intelligence since the resignation last summer of Dan Coats, a former Republican senator from Indiana,” The New York Times reported. “Mr. Grenell, who has pushed to advance gay rights in his current post, would apparently also be the first openly gay cabinet member.”
Trump later confirmed the news on Twitter, writing, “I am pleased to announce that our highly respected Ambassador to Germany, @RichardGrenell , will become the Acting Director of National Intelligence. Rick has represented our Country exceedingly well and I look forward to working with him. I would like to thank Joe Maguire for the wonderful job he has done, and we look forward to working with him closely, perhaps in another capacity within the Administration!”
….for the wonderful job he has done, and we look forward to working with him closely, perhaps in another capacity within the Administration!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2020
Grenell, who is widely viewed as Trump’s favorite ambassador, has aggressively promoted the administration’s agenda while serving in Germany and has not been shy about ruffling feathers in the process.
“Mr. Grenell, a confidant of the president and former adviser to his campaign, embodies both the diplomatic doctrine of the Trump administration and its new posture toward U.S. allies in Europe: engagement, public criticism that rankles host nations, some achievements and some unbridgeable divides,” The Wall Street Journal reported last year. “Mr. Grenell’s undiplomatic manner has made him the president’s favorite ambassador, according to current and former officials. Mr. Trump has often privately praised Mr. Grenell’s TV appearances and his social media presence—peppered alternately with criticism of German policy and pictures of his dog, Lola—and described the ambassador as someone who ‘gets it.’ The president has at times asked advisers about naming Mr. Grenell to other posts in the administration.”
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) responded to the news by writing on Twitter: “A great Patrot, exceptional Ambassador, and amazing selection to be the US’ next Acting Director of National Intelligence, Ambassador @RichardGrenell! Congratulations!!”
A great Patrot, exceptional Ambassador, and amazing selection to be the US’ next Acting Director of National Intelligence, Ambassador @RichardGrenell! Congratulations!!
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) February 19, 2020
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) tweeted: “Fifty years ago a gay man or woman couldn’t work in the intelligence community. Today President Trump is appointing an openly gay man to serve as Acting Director of National Intelligence. Congratulations, Ambassador @RichardGrenell”
Fifty years ago a gay man or woman couldn’t work in the intelligence community. Today President Trump is appointing an openly gay man to serve as Acting Director of National Intelligence. Congratulations, Ambassador @RichardGrenell
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) February 20, 2020
The U.S. State Department wrote the following biography of Grenell:
Grenell was a Partner with Los Angeles-based Capitol Media Partners. He has served as a senior policy and communications advisor for public officials at the local, state, federal and international levels, as well as for a Fortune 300 ranked company.
Grenell is the longest serving U.S. spokesman and political appointee at the UN in history having served from 2001-2008. In 2012, Grenell briefly served as Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney’s National Security and Foreign Affairs Spokesman. His appointment made him the first openly gay spokesman for a Republican Presidential candidate. In 2001, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy for the United States Ambassador to the United Nations and advised four U.S. Ambassadors – John D. Negroponte, John C. Danforth, John R. Bolton and Zalmay Khalilzad in the eight years at the UN. Grenell was also appointed in 2004 as an Alternate Representative to the UN Security Council with full voting rights and privileges.
Grenell served as the United States Spokesman during the world body’s most turbulent time. He led communications strategies on issues such as the war on terrorism, peacekeeping operations, the conflict in the Middle East, nuclear proliferation, Israel’s security and the UN’s Oil for Food Corruption investigation, to name a few.
Prior to his tenure at the UN, Grenell served as a spokesman for New York Governor George Pataki’s Administration, San Diego Mayor Susan Golding, Congressman Mark Sanford and Congressman Dave Camp, former Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Grenell has also served as the spokesman for many state and federal political candidates including three U.S. Presidential campaigns.
Grenell has written for the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, CBSNews, CNN and the Washington Times. Grenell’s twitter feed was hailed by Time Magazine as one of the Top 10 Political sites in 2014.
Grenell taught at The University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communications and was an Advisory Board Member of Newsmax Media. He also previously served on the Langley Intelligence Group Advisory Board.
Grenell received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and his Bachelor’s Degree in Government and Public Administration from Evangel College.
This report has been updated to include additional information.