‘Notably Rude Twitter Troll’
President Donald Trump is expected to install Richard Grenell, his current Ambassador to Germany, as his next Acting Director of National Intelligence, according to The New York Times. Grenell is known as a bombastic Trump loyalist who has not been well received in Berlin.
Some eyebrows are being raised, not due to Grenell’s harsh attitudes but his disturbing lack of qualifications for the job of Director of National Intelligence, also known as the DNI.
The DNI is a Cabinet-level official who sits at the very top of the entire Intelligence Community, serving as the head of the 17 federal agencies that comprise it. They also serve as the President’s chief advisor on national security, and produce the top-secret President’s Daily Brief (PDB).
Federal law states quite clearly, “Any individual nominated for appointment as Director of National Intelligence shall have extensive national security expertise.”
Ambassador to Germany does not qualify. Grenell previously has served as the spokesperson for the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations,
He has run a public affairs consultancy, has been a Fox News contributor, and for a few days was presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s national security spokesperson, but was forced to step down after conservatives blasted the former governor over Grenell’s sexual orientation.
In November the German magazine Der Spiegel ran a damning profile of Grenell titled, “Trump’s Ambassador Finds Few Friends in Germany.” (Ironically, one of the reasons Trump gave for firing his venerated Ambassador to Ukraine was that she was not well-liked in the country, which was false.)
“Since arriving in Berlin as U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell has flouted diplomatic conventions and attempted to interfere in domestic politics. He has since become politically isolated in the German capital,” Der Spiegel reported.
In the extremely “unflattering” article Grenell is compared to “a right-wing extremist colonial officer,”
“The powerful avoid him. Doors have been shut. Few politicians to the left of the right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AFD) and the populist-conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of Merkel’s center-right Christian Democrats (CDU), want to be seen with him.”
It gets worse.
Der Spiegel writes they spoke with 30 sources before publishing their report.
“Almost all of these sources paint an unflattering portrait of the ambassador, one remarkably similar to Donald Trump, the man who sent him to Berlin. A majority of them describe Grenell as a vain, narcissistic person who dishes out aggressively, but can barely handle criticism. His brash demeanor, some claim, hides a deep insecurity, and they say he thirsts for the approval of others.”
All that aside, again, Grenell is not qualified, neither by law nor by common sense.
Here’s a former Senior Director of the National Security Council:
The only people happy about this are the Germans. https://t.co/uEfmETFrPW
— Jon B. Wolfsthal (@JBWolfsthal) February 20, 2020
Other experts and journalists agree:
Reminder: Jim Clapper spent 50 years in intelligence, headed two agencies, and served as the Under Sec of intel at the Pentagon before becoming DNI. Ric Grenell was … a notably rude Twitter troll. https://t.co/ST1adUqJJR
— Garrett M. Graff (@vermontgmg) February 19, 2020
This is a national disgrace. Grenell would be the least qualified intelligence chief in US history. https://t.co/WliTv6DHTe
— Joe Cirincione (@Cirincione) February 19, 2020
Dan makes a key point. Not only is Grenell horrible, not only has he been a terrible diplomat…he has no intelligence experience, no real management experience, not only shred of the experience to do this vital job. IC should rise up and protest. An insult to them all. https://t.co/9FnbpuqEB9
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) February 19, 2020
Because Grenell is Senate-confirmed (as Ambassador to Germany), the President has the authority to name him Acting DNI under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act.
Of course, there’d be no reason not to _nominate_ him to be the actual DNI if he were actually qualified for the job… https://t.co/PGNShWGzXp
— Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) February 19, 2020
The moron running the country is about to appoint the least qualified intelligence director in history – by a wide margin. A move guaranteed to make us less safe as a country. https://t.co/EovNSPvU70
— Josh Moon (@Josh_Moon) February 19, 2020
Apart from questions about Grenell’s qualifications, temperament and relevant experience for this role, the move also raises questions about the Worldwide Threat Assessment – how soon would a brand new, acting DNI present an annual threat assessment before Congress
— Olivia Gazis (@Olivia_Gazis) February 19, 2020
Nightmare Scenario No. Infinity
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) February 19, 2020
Grenell as DNI? This is crazy, even by the standards of this administration.
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 19, 2020
Another slap in the face to my former intel colleagues. Grenell is a partisan bombthrower whose only skill is defending Trump. Trump’s decision not to nominate a permanent DNI underscores that he has no use for intel and no regard for national security. https://t.co/JDk83yBq3j
— Ned Price (@nedprice) February 19, 2020
First, Grenell appears to have precisely zero experience with the business or management of the intelligence community. He has no background with intelligence strategy or priorities. He has no credibility within the community.
— katrina mulligan (@NatSecMulligan) February 19, 2020
What he lacks in “extensive national security expertise” he apparently makes up for in tweets. Grenell seems to be known for his sharp social media skills—skills he would be well-advised to abstain from if he is to become the DNI.
— katrina mulligan (@NatSecMulligan) February 19, 2020
Sen. Mark Warner: "The President has selected an individual without any intelligence experience to serve as the leader of the nation’s intelligence community … This is the second acting director the President has named … apparently in an effort to sidestep the Senate."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 20, 2020
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Canadians and Americans Mock US and Trump as President Weighs Stationing Troops at Border Over Coronavirus Crisis
President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau agreed to shut the U.S.-Canada border to all but essential traffic and trade last week, to contain the coronavirus spread. Now President Trump wants to station U.S. troops on the Canadian border, to ensure no one tries to illegally cross into America.
Trudeau confirmed the report Thursday, Canada’s Global News reports, and apparently does not support the plan.
“Canada and the United States have the longest un-militarized border in the world and it is very much in both of our interests for it to remain that way,” Trudeau said, “while giving his daily briefing to reporters.”
Canadians and some Americans are having a field day mocking the U.S., which does not have universal health care and has a far greater number of COVID-19 cases than our friends to the north.
You really think Canadians will flee their healthcare and a Prime Minister w/ policies that favour science for a right-wing koolaid-drinking whack job country w/ the fastest growth of #COVID19 cases in the world?!? https://t.co/AfkgVUo0Xb #NOPE #NOTMYPRESIDENT #USA #cdnpoli
— somecanuckchick🇨🇦 (@somecanuckchick) March 26, 2020
Trust me: no one from Canada or Mexico wants to come here now. Unless he’s looking to block Americans from escaping. https://t.co/HjvtmHyQuN
— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) March 26, 2020
If things weren’t so grim, the idea that Trump needs to prevent Canadians from sneaking into the US would be laughable. Right now, this side of the border is looking pretty good. https://t.co/pvP8sv1i9k
— Scott Gilmore (@Scott_Gilmore) March 26, 2020
We have more cases than them. If anyone would put guards at the border, it’s Canadians! https://t.co/1qjBFouRtL
— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) March 26, 2020
— ProudCanadianMom🇨🇦 (@CanadianMom79) March 26, 2020
Why is trump proposing sending troops to 🇨🇦 border when 20,000 people crossed INTO Canada from US in 2018?
It’s Canada that will require protection from the US soon, given its catastrophic response to COVID19. https://t.co/qiG8c8eUG4
— Joanne (@JoanneKMcD) March 26, 2020
Why is @realDonaldTrump considering putting troops at the US/CAN border? Ain’t no Canadian trying to sneak into your dumbass sickass country with your shit ass health care you Dumb Shit. #dontflatteryourself
— Pudgy Nugget (@PudgyNugget) March 26, 2020
Is this to keep the Americans from coming north? https://t.co/u4dhI9tSju
— serenitynow (@serenitynow8822) March 26, 2020
Donald Trump deploying troops to the Canadian border to prevent COVID-19 carriers from infiltrating the United States would likely benefit Canada – by stopping an actual threat, namely infected Americans moving north. https://t.co/GMdaYc01zw #COVIDCanada #covid19Canada #cdnpoli
— Michael Byers (@michael_byers) March 26, 2020
That’s quite funny the states wants to put military troops to the US and Canadian Border.
Do it, the US has so many cases it’s out of control. Close our borders that’s fine.
If it stops the spread.
— Taylor Austin (@STGGamings) March 26, 2020
Let me get this straight. So the US is wanting to put soldiers at the border so Canadians, with our far lower infection rate per capita and universal healthcare won’t try to get across?
No worries, guys. I think you’re safe.
— Amanda Jetté Knox (@MavenOfMayhem) March 26, 2020
Yes, let’s put soldiers on the border to stand guard against, checks notes, Canada? We could put soldiers to work delivering groceries or working in the hospitals but noooooo.@realDonaldTrump is the original #COVIDIDIOT.#TheResistancehttps://t.co/i8NF5g2ShQ
— Sarah Connor (@SarahConnor2017) March 26, 2020
Breaking: Canadians lined up at the border to flee their free healthcare, civil society and functional leadership for the kill or be killed, dystopian nightmare the US is quickly becoming. Also no one listens to the‘Tragically Hip’ here which might have been our undoing.
— NoelCaslerComedy (@CaslerNoel) March 26, 2020
NO Canadian with intellect will WANT to cross the border right now. I love my US friends/players etc… BUT NOW is not the time esp. with #45’s inaction and money first thinking. Waste of your resources Cheeto butt. https://t.co/2UEmwH2T8i
— Callie B (@canadiancal30) March 26, 2020
America’s doctors and nurses: HELP! We are desperate! We need masks, ventilators, gowns, gloves, beds.
Donald Trump: I hear you. I’m sending troops to the Canadian border.
— Jennifer Hayden (@Scout_Finch) March 26, 2020
Internet ‘Celebrates’ Anniversary of ‘America’s Worst Financial Adviser’ Larry Kudlow Claiming Coronavirus ‘Contained’
It’s two weeks to the day since President Donald Trump’s top economic advisor Larry Kudlow was trotted out before the cameras at the White House and told America that the administration had almost totally “contained” the coronavirus.
“We have contained this,” Kudlow told his former news network, CNBC. “I won’t say airtight, but pretty close to airtight. We have done a good job in the United States.”
— CNBC (@CNBC) February 25, 2020
That was February 25. It of course was a lie then, and is even more of a lie today.
On that day two weeks ago there were just 57 known coronavirus cases. There had yet to be any deaths.
Today the U.S. has 975 coronavirus cases, and has had 30 coronavirus deaths.
Two weeks ago it took Americans just minutes to mock Kudlow’s claim of a almost airtight containment.
That video came back to haunt Kudlow – who is not an actual economist, but a former finance anchor – once again.
Here’s what some are saying today.
I think most of us thought it was a goof when CNBC brought a drunk economist on to talk about a pandemic? https://t.co/QBpgx4lWFs
— Mike Lobikis (@MLfromdeep) March 10, 2020
— iPablo (@Pablo16delta) March 11, 2020
This is what “pretty close” looks like? https://t.co/0373Mkyltn
— Steve Tornello (@steveohville) March 10, 2020
2 weeks ago this bonehead said that the virus was contained ” Pretty close to airtight ” .
He still has a job. https://t.co/VpJztVm86B
— RainForest🏳️🌈🤓 (@BilboWookie) March 10, 2020
As was widely predicted, this announcement has aged *terribly*. https://t.co/KyIG1UG3Zz
— Resolve.Action.Love (@Snowman55403) March 10, 2020
Larry’s credibility is somewhat lacking, given 2 weeks ago he said “We have contained this, I won’t say airtight but pretty close to airtight.”
— Nolaughing Matter (@nolaughingmatt2) March 11, 2020
— Richard Ruben (@ChefLocavore) March 10, 2020
Kudlow: “Almost airtight”
Top U.S. public health official expects coronavirus outbreak to worsen https://t.co/OTtCCpRQyM
— TenaciousEye (@TenaciousEye) March 10, 2020
Trump Melts Down, Uses Old Poll in Desperate Attempt to Claim His Handling of Coronavirus Is Not as Bad as Many Think
President Donald Trump on Sunday had another meltdown over COVID-19, the novel coronavirus out of Wuhan, China that has now killed one person in the United States.
In a stunning misuse of a poll President Trump tweeted that 77% of “U.S. adults have confidence in their government’s ability to handle the Coronavirus…”
A Poll in today’s New York Post says that 77% of “U.S. adults have confidence in their government’s ability to handle the Coronavirus (Number One), compared to other health threats.” 64% for Zika, 58% for Ebola. Others way down on list. Our professionals are doing a great job!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2020
That is inaccurate at best.
There’s no online article at the New York Post that mentions the data Trump cited, but there is a Gallup poll taken weeks ago that does.
The problem is the Gallup poll was performed February 3-16, before the markets went into a week-long deep dive dropping about 3500 points, and before Trump delivered not one but two press conferences widely seen as disastrous.
Shortly after his misleading poll tweet Trump then went on the attack against the media, calling it “the Fake News Media,” and “THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”
People are disgusted and embarrassed by the Fake News Media, as headed by the @nytimes, @washingtonpost, @comcast & MSDNC, @ABC, @CBSNews and more. They no longer believe what they see and read, and for good reason. Fake News is, indeed, THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 1, 2020
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