President Donald Trump’s pick to become the next acting Director of National Intelligence has drawn criticism from a number of individuals within the intelligence community.
That’s because Richard Grenell, who currently serves as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, doesn’t actually have any intelligence experience or background whatsoever.
In fact, it appears that Grenell’s only qualifying feature is the fact that he’s a fierce loyalist to the president.
Before being appointed to the ambassadorship, Grenell had served as a foreign policy spokesman for the second Bush administration, as well as serving a similar role in Mitt Romney’s failed presidential campaign.
But while he has foreign policy knowledge and experience, on the issue of intelligence, Grenell is sorely lacking — which is why several officials within the department he’s set to lead said they were “blindsided” by Trump’s announcement of his appointment on Wednesday night, The Daily Beast reported.
“Rick has represented our Country exceedingly well, and I look forward to working with him,” Trump wrote in a tweet announcing Grenell’s new appointment.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) disapproved of Trump’s choice.
“Having someone who is a political appointee with little or any background in intelligence come there on an acting basis is really the wrong move, and I hope that the president will appoint a real professional,” Blumenthal said.
Grenell’s appointment will likely roil some allies of the United States as well. Although Trump labeled him “highly respected” in his tweet, while serving as ambassador, it appeared that Grenell lost the confidence of German politicians he was working alongside. Some called him a “brat” and others called for his resignation for being a “total diplomatic failure.”
Indeed, as Miami Herald journalist Lesley Abranavel pointed out, Grenell’s comments and endorsements of political leaders vying for power in Germany were alarming.
“Ambassador Richard Grenell is currently serving in Germany, where he became most famous for publicly supporting Europe’s far-right political parties, including a budding neo-Nazi movement,” Abranavel reminded her Twitter followers shortly after Trump’s tweet.
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.