Trump To Nominate Gay UN Spokesman Richard Grenell As German Ambassador
The White House announced Friday that President Donald Trump intends to nominate Richard Grenell to be his ambassador to Germany, Politico reports.
If confirmed, Grenell, 50, would become the first openly gay appointee of the Trump administration.
Last month, an anonymous White House source told CNN that Grenell had been offered the job.
Grenell’s role as ambassador will be vital, as relations between the U.S. and Germany, particularly between Trump and Chancellor Angela Merkel, are strained. Trump has publicly criticized Merkel’s positions on NATO, climate change, and the refugee crisis.
The longest serving U.S. spokesman at the United Nations, Grenell previously served four U.S. ambassadors to the UN under President George W. Bush. Grenell was rumored to be Trump’s pick for UN ambassador but the job ultimately went to Nikki Haley.
Grenell briefly acted as Mitt Romney’s advisor on national security and foreign affairs during Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, making him the first openly gay spokesperson to serve a Republican presidential nominee. Grenell was allegedly forced to resign by social conservatives over concerns about his sexual orientation.
“Well, the point here is that personnel is policy,” the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer told CNN at the time. “When Governor Romney picks somebody who is an activist homosexual and puts him in a prominent position, he’s sending a shout out, it seems to me, to the homosexual lobby.”
Grenell, a vocal Trump supporter and regular Fox News commentator, has also spoken out on LGBT rights. In 2013, he signed an amicus brief submitted to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage.
During the Bush administration, he pushed unsuccessfully to have his partner, Matt Lashey, listed as his spouse in the United Nations’ Blue Book. Grenell and Lashey have been together for 15 years.