One Word Being Used to Describe New Intel Chief

Richard Grenell is a Trump 'loyalist'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2020 7:56 AM CST
One Word Being Used to Describe New Intel Chief
In this January 2020 photo, Ambassador Richard Grenell listens to Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic during a press conference in Belgrade, Serbia.   (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

President Trump picked the man he wants to oversee the nation's 17 spy agencies, and news coverage has a common theme. The New York Times describes Richard Grenell, who is the current ambassador to Germany, as a Trump "loyalist," while CNN has "staunch loyalist," NPR and the Washington Post both have "fiercely loyal," and the Guardian settles on "combative loyalist." Grenell will serve as acting director of national intelligence and will be Trump's first openly gay Cabinet member. A post at Axios notes that the move comes amid Trump's post-impeachment push to get rid of "internal dissenters" and surround himself with allies, and it adds that this particular move could be one of the most consequential. The DNI, after all, "has access to all the nation's secrets, and helps shape what a president sees and knows," write Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei.

As for Trump's moves, other presidents have griped about disloyalty, but few have been so brazen about fixing the issue, they add. "Trump does everything bigger and bolder than any predecessor dared—and all nakedly in the open, fearing no consequences from a Republican Party he fully commands." Much of the Grenell coverage notes that he has no intelligence background or experience managing anything so big. From the right, a post at the Federalist highlights related criticism. "The level of hatred is commensurate with the merit of the pick," writes Ben Weingarten. "It is a feather in Grenell’s cap, and only further validates the wisdom of the president’s decision." (Grenell has rankled feathers in Germany, and he's also made headlines for leading a world push to decriminalize homosexuality.)

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