Richard Grenell, the U.S. ambassador to Germany, is expected to be named acting Director of National Intelligence, a White House official told NBC News on Wednesday.
The move was first reported by the New York Times.
Grenell, an openly gay former Fox News commentator who is a vocal supporter of the president, would replace Joseph Maguire, who has served as acting director since July of last year since Dan Coats resigned.
Maguire was required by law to leave the post of acting director of national intelligence within weeks. Grenell would become the first openly gay Cabinet member upon his selection by the president.
“The proof of Richard Grenell’s great merit is in the pudding of his doggedly taking on the Germans when it comes to Iran, 5G/Huawei/China, Nord Stream 2/Russia, NATO, and much else,” wrote The Federalist’s Benjamin Weingarten. “Just an exceptional choice. … and a boon to America.”
Added conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt: “Critics of appointment of Richard Grenell must have done better than he has in pressuring Germany to move towards NATO’s 2% goal or getting Kosovo and Serbia to an actual agreement? Ric has a great record of success abroad and at U.N. The Left despises him because he’s effective.”
Earlier this month, just weeks after Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps fired numerous ballistic missiles at U.S. troops in Iraq and downed a civilian airliner, Grenell sharply criticized Germany for a planned celebration of the founding of Iran’s Islamic Republic. His reaction was in sharp contrast to the more docile attitude toward Iran from other top Western officials, including Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“Germany has a moral responsibility to say to Iran very firmly and clearly that it is unacceptable to deny basic human rights to your people, or kill protesters in the streets or push gay people off buildings. Celebrating the regime’s ongoing existence sends the opposite message,” Grenell told Fox News.