Some could say President Donald Trump has built a rocky relationship with Germany since taking office in January. A handshake “fiasco” blown out of proportion by the mainstream media and an out of control protest in Hamburg as he and other world leaders met for G-20 summit are only two recent examples. Now the time has come for Trump to appoint a new U.S. ambassador to send over to Germany, and according to CNN sources, the man to do the job is Richard Grenell, a seasoned diplomat and media commentator that has been known to ruffle the feathers of politicians on all sides of the aisle.
CNN reported on Thursday that two unnamed sources close to the White House confirmed that Grenell has met with President Trump and was offered the position, but whether or not he accepted has not been confirmed. A recent photo of Grenell and Trump in the Oval Office was posted on Grenell’s Twitter feed, only adding credence to the reports.
So what makes Richard Grenell fit for the job of keeping the U.S. and Germany on good terms? His resume is quite extensive, and while he earned favor with Trump after supporting the then candidate’s foreign policy vision, he served four ambassadors to the United Nations during President George W. Bush’s two terms, making him the longest serving U.S. spokesman at the UN.
While he stepped away from the political power scene under President Obama, he didn’t go away quietly. Using his new platform as a TV media commentator on FOX News, Grenell never let an opportunity to speak out against both Democrat and Republican politicians pulling strings in Washington.
Add in the fact that he is openly gay, and you begin to see why some in the ultra-conservative Republican party are a bit apprehensive to support Grenell. And while that little known fact would most often make a party leader think twice, Trump is no ordinary player… have already appointed Peter Thiel, a German-native and also openly gay, to his transition team and as an advisor to the president.
If appointed, Richard Grenell does have some experience in dealing with the German government. UN reform and issues on Iranian sanctions are just two of the previous agendas he worked on with Germany during the Bush-era, but coming back to the scene now presents a very different task. Grenell would undoubtedly be tasked with easing tensions created by Trump as he not only has called German Chancellor Angela Merkel weak on both domestic and foreign policy, but also created an international uproar after pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement… a stance that won the president no favor in Germany and Europe.