(CNSNews.com) - President Donald Trump has put Richard Grenell, a gay man with a same-sex partner, in the position of acting Director of National Intelligence, the cabinet-level official who oversees the U.S. intelligence community.
After naming Grenell acting DNI on Feb. 19, Trump announced on Feb. 28 that he was nominating Rep. John Ratcliffe (R.-Texas) to take over as the full-time DNI. Ratcliffe, however, must first win a confirmation vote in the Senate to assume that role.
Ratcliffe is currently a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Grenell worked on Sen. John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign; as a communications director for ambassadors to the United Nations during the administration of George W. Bush; as a campaign spokesperson for former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney; and as ambassador to Germany for the Trump administration.
“Richard Grenell, an openly gay and longtime Republican foreign policy spokesman hired last month by Mitt Romney's campaign, abruptly resigned on Tuesday after antigay elements in the party criticized his appointment and some Republican advisers said Mr. Grenell had been sidelined by the campaign during a busy foreign policy week.
“The Romney campaign issued a statement saying that it had sought to keep Mr. Grenell from quitting. And according to some Republicans, while Mr. Grenell's sexual orientation was not an issue for the campaign, the Romney team had cut Mr. Grenell out of the loop on some issues after feeling a surprising pressure from some social conservatives.”
“President Trump has offered the post of United States ambassador to Germany to Richard Grenell, a former diplomatic aide to President George W. Bush and a Republican strategist who once worked for Senator John McCain, two people briefed on the conversation said on Thursday. …
“If confirmed, Mr. Grenell, a frequent commentator on Fox News and a vocal critic of the news media on Twitter, would be the first openly gay appointee in the Trump administration.”
On Feb. 20, 2019, the Times ran a story with the headline: “A U.S. Ambassador Promises a Global Push to Decriminalize Homosexuality.” It said:
“The American ambassador to Germany plans to lead what his embassy said Wednesday was a new and “specific push” to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide.
“The ambassador, Richard Grenell, rumored to be a candidate as the next American ambassador to the United Nations, invited about a dozen gay and transgender activists from around Europe to a dinner at his Berlin residence Tuesday night where the effort was discussed.”
“In recent years, the United States has posted several openly gay people to important ambassadorships. The most recent is Richard Grenell, the current ambassador to Germany, who was confirmed by the Senate in April. Mr. Grenell's longtime partner, Matthew Lashey, accompanied him to Germany.”
On May 3, 2018, when Vice President Mike Pence swore-in Grenell as ambassador to Germany, he welcomed the presence of Grenell’s “partner,” Matt Lashey. Lashey held the Bible that Grenell put his hand on when he took the oath to God to uphold the Constitution and faithfully perform the duties of his office."
“On behalf of President Trump and the First Family, it is my privilege to say, welcome to the White House for the swearing-in of the 29th United States Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell. (Applause.)
“Ric, I know you've got a lot of friends from many years here, but most importantly, you've got people that you cherish, and your family. I want to acknowledge your mother Judi, who's with us today; your brothers, Jeff and Brad; your partner, Matt Lashey; and his parents, Dave and Nancy; and many others. Let's thank all the family for being here today. …
“So now, it will be my great honor, on behalf of President Trump, to administer to you the oath of office. If you place your left hand on that big bible - (laughter) - raise your right hand and repeat after me.”