Controversial Trump loyalist Richard Grenell has been handed a new government role, as the president seeks to reward his allies with plum posts ahead of his exit from office.
The controversial gay Republican operative, who previously served as Trump’s ambassador to Germany and his acting national security advisor, has been nominated serve on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.
Grenell provoked controversy while serving as ambassador to Germany by giving an interview in which he said he would work to “empower” anti-migrant movements across Europe. Israeli outlet Haaretz notes that he also expressed admiration for former Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz, a conservative hardliner who entered coalition with a far-right party.
Ahead of the 2020 election, Grenell was placed in charge of the Republican Party’s chaotic attempts at LGBT+ voter outreach, earning the nickname “Gaslight Grenell” due to his insistence on airbrushing the president’s anti-LGBT+ policy moves.
Richard Grenell rages at Jewish critics after appointment to Holocaust memorial body.
Grenell’s appointment to the Holocaust Memorial Council was questioned by some Jewish figures including Halie Soifer, head of the Jewish Democratic Council of America.
She tweeted: “Today, Trump appointed Richard Grenell to the Holocaust Memorial Council. As US ambassador to Germany, Grenell sought to ’empower’ far-right parties and anti-establishment conservatives in Europe. Others have been unqualified, but he’s emboldened actual neo-Nazis.”
Grenell fired back by retweeting messages referring to Soifer as an “ignorant piece of trash”.
This should be given a @twitter warning for pushing fake news.
Halie hates gay conservatives so she pushes phony right wing conspiracy theories about us.
Halie believes every gay person must be a Democrat.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) December 23, 2020
Grenell also called for Twitter to censor her post, insisting: “This should be given a @twitter warning for pushing fake news. Halie hates gay conservatives so she pushes phony right wing conspiracy theories about us.
“Halie believes every gay person must be a Democrat. It’s so offensive.”
Donald Trump rewards loyalists with government jobs
Richard Grenell is one of a cohort of Trump loyalists handed new roles as the leader begrudgingly prepares for the end of his administration, Politico reports, with more than 40 appointments made to key positions.
Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was nominated to the National Board for Education Sciences, while long-time confidante and erstwhile communications director Hope Hicks was named to the board overseeing the prestigious Fulbright scholarship.
Florida’s anti-LGBT+ attorney general Pam Bondi, a Trump loyalist known for her tooth-and-nail battle against marriage equality, has been appointed to the board of trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, alongside White House staff secretary Derek Lyons.