News and Commentary

Ric Grenell Gives Snarky Response To Adam Schiff’s Demands To Oversee Intelligence Community Appointments
14 February 2020, Bavaria, Munich: Richard Grenell, Ambassador of the United States of America to Germany, speaks on the first day of the 56th Munich Security Conference. Grenell becomes the acting intelligence coordinator at the White House.
Sven Hoppe/picture alliance via Getty Images

Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany who is now the Acting Director of National Intelligence, has responded to Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-CA) April 7 letter demanding Grenell stop reorganizing the Intelligence Community without congressional approval.

Grenell, in a letter obtained by The Daily Wire, begins by pointing out that Schiff ignored the fact that some of the changes Grenell has made have been the historic appointments of women and LGBT individuals to Intelligence Community positions while bemoaning the loss of male officials.

“I must begin by voicing my surprise that your four-page letter said nothing about the historic appointment of the first female Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). Instead, you expressed concerns regarding the retirement of the former male Director,” Grenell wrote. “You erroneously cast judgement on the reason of his departure while ignoring the accomplishments of NCTC’s new leadership, two highly qualified female officers serving as the Acting Director and Acting Deputy Director. Diversity of the IC workforce should always be celebrated, and I am proud that we increased diversity within the [Office of the Director of National Intelligence] ODNI’s senior ranks, to include more women and members of the LGBT community.”

Grenell goes on to reject Schiff’s “suggestions for reforming” the ODNI.

“I must disagree with your proposals to divest the DNI of managerial competence and personnel decision-making authority, and to replace your committee’s mandate for Intelligence Community (IC) oversight with a mandate for IC administration,” Grenell wrote. “Career IC officials have conducted four studies in the last two years calling for reforms at the ODNI, and the career officials are eager to implement the recommendations. It is my duty to listen to these ODNI career employees who have ideas on how to improve the work we do for the American people. Going forward, I encourage you to think of the relationship between your committee and the IC as that between the legislative and executive branches of government, rather than that between a hedge fund and a distressed asset, as your letter suggests.”

Grenell also defended DNI officials who were criticized in Schiff’s letter of politicizing a briefing to members of Congress on March 10, calling the congressman’s claims “unsubstantiated indictments of their motivations and judgement.” Grenell asked Schiff to share with him any reports that provide evidence to back up his claim of politicization.

As a final, parting blow to Schiff, Grenell concludes his letter by writing:

Lastly, I strongly agree with your statement of a bipartisan legislative commitment to the IC. I would hope to see this commitment reflected on the signature line of your future letters.

This is a reference to the fact that Schiff’s was the only signature on his previous letter to Grenell.

As The Daily Wire previously reported, Grenell called out Schiff earlier this month when the latter sent his letter to the media at roughly the same time he sent it to Grenell. A House Intelligence staffer told CBS news that the letter was sent to the ODNI at 1:14 p.m. that day and to the media at 1:28 p.m. Grenell said the media received the letter before he did.

Correction: Story updated to remove “former” from Grenell’s title as U.S. ambassador to Germany. He has not resigned his post.

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