‘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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‘Groucho? Harpo? Chico?’: Matt Schlapp Mocked for Claim This May Be Final 4th of July Before ‘Marxists’ Take Over US
Far right wing lobbyist, Fox News contributor, Trump campaign surrogate, and provocateur Matt Schlapp is being mocked after claiming Marxists are taking over the country and warning that as a result, Saturday may be America’s final Fourth of July.
Schlapp apparently was forced to use a photo of umbrella-holding protestors fleeing what looks like tear gas, with one particularly patriotic young man donning an American flag face mask while holding up a rather large American flag.
“This Saturday, if the Marxist leaders have their way, we will celebrate #IndependenceDay for the last time as a free people,” Schlapp tweeted. “Now is the time to stand up for your country. And even more importantly, pray that the Great American Experiment survives their assault.”
This Saturday, if the Marxist leaders have their way, we will celebrate #IndependenceDay for the last time as a free people. Now is the time to stand up for your country. And even more importantly, pray that the Great American Experiment survives their assault. pic.twitter.com/NExTIh6q0u
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) July 2, 2020
At first glance, perhaps, some likely would assume the image is of Black Lives Matter activists at a George Floyd racial justice protest.
But as Vox co-founder Matt Yglesias pointed out, the photo is of protestors in Hong Kong, a region currently engaged in its own fight for freedom.
This is a photograph of Hong Kong https://t.co/Vd69LF4KLr
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) July 3, 2020
(The photo is from the Associated Press, and can be seen in this Voice of America article)
Schlapp, whose wife is a Trump campaign advisor, was double mocked – for the photo, and for the “American” protestors.
(The right recently has been labeling Black Lives Matter as “Marxist,” citing the reported beliefs of one of its co-founders, intentionally ignoring that the millions who are marching against police killings and for racial justice are not.)
Schlapp, by the way, is the chairman of the American Conservative Union, the company that hosts the annual right wing Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). Several companies have recently dropped Schlapp over his comments about the George Floyd protests. Among them, these:
Statues of Jesus are next. It won’t end. Pray for the USA
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) June 22, 2020
Mark BLM shut down DC because they refuse to hold the dem elected officials in MN to account for Floyd’s murder. It is easier to blame Trump. Keep it going and you’ll reelect him. All lives matter including the dozen or so killed due to fanning these flames for political “gain” https://t.co/z7kn5Bjkle
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) June 6, 2020
Growing list of companies giving to Black Lives Matter Coalition which is hostile to families, capitalism, cops, unborn life and gender. How can a company give to a network of groups that want to outlaw corporations? Because many corporate boards are infected w leftists.
— Matt Schlapp (@mschlapp) June 11, 2020
Here’s how some are responding to Schlapp:
Who, pray tell, are the Marxist leaders? Groucho? Harpo? Chico? Those are the “Marxists” most popular in the US.
The tweet has the stench of fear. Trump’s authoritarian allies are running scared. https://t.co/iSF0JmmVnt
— Michael R. Bromwich (@mrbromwich) July 3, 2020
guys like this take an almost sexual joy in dreaming up completely crack-brained imaginary new ways they are being oppressed https://t.co/2DPfpXnj3a
— ryan cooper (@ryanlcooper) July 3, 2020
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) July 3, 2020
“The Great American Experiment” is a weird way to say “my grift to make millions of dollars because I’m married to a senior adviser of Trump” but you do you, Matt.
— Pé (@4everNeverTrump) July 3, 2020
do you have any idea just how ridiculous you sound
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) July 3, 2020
Fear. It’s all these Trump-era grifters have. Fear. https://t.co/kJs9a2Jnqg
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) July 3, 2020
Marxist leaders? Seriously? Who’s that? How did you end up so troubled and scared? https://t.co/8wdYXn1Na3
— John Sipher (@john_sipher) July 3, 2020
It’s chaos with these Marxists! pic.twitter.com/XkoqvdP6aR
— BillMemphis (@BillMemphis) July 3, 2020
Yes. Nothing says America is failing like a protester in Hong Kong waving the stars and bars. You’re not even a good propagandist. We will get our country back in January and all of your con artists and grifters can go back to your old crimes.
— Fred Wellman (@FPWellman) July 3, 2020
When you’re desperate to add to the chandelier collection in the $3 million Alexandria home and “30-acre idyll in the Blue Ridge Mountains” that Koch Industries and the NRA bought you https://t.co/dVmLPtxL5h
— Adam Weinstein (@AdamWeinstein) July 3, 2020
So two things:
1) That’s a photo of Hong Kong;
2) Dude, you need to seriously up your meds. https://t.co/5xPdu5TxgZ
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) July 3, 2020
The ONLY thing #MAGA Republicans know how to do well is to make up a fake enemy (Muslims, Immigrants, ANTIFA, etc.) make you afraid, and then say THEY are the only ones who can fix it. This fuktard, @mschlapp and his wife @mercedesschlapp are two of those people. https://t.co/CNZ7tHkEZz
— 🖕🏻Aunt Crabby calls Bullshit 🖕🏻 (@DearAuntCrabby) July 3, 2020
Lenin and Trotsky coming over for a 4th of July BBQ? Maybe you should ease off the absinthe.
— Andrew C Laufer, Esq (@lauferlaw) July 3, 2020
It’s just a lie. More gaslighting from the racist right. https://t.co/4qZuhPxs8B
— Beki Knott (@lotsofuss) July 3, 2020
Americans Should ‘Get Over’ White Privilege and Recognize It as ‘White Blessing’ Says Megachurch Pastor – To Outrage
Atlanta megachurch pastor Louie Giglio in under fire for advocating that Americans should “get over” the negative concept of “white privilege” and recognize it as “white blessings.”
Hosting what he called “an honest conversation about race and the Church” on Sunday with Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy and Christian hip-hop recording artist and music executive Lecrae, Giglio advocated for changing the term “white privilege” to make it less offensive to white Americans who “don’t want somebody telling them to check their privilege” (video below.)
Giglio suggested, “let’s get over the phrase” of “white privilege.”
“I think maybe a great thing for me is to call it ‘white blessing,'” Giglio declared. “That I’m living in the blessing of the curse that happened generationally that allowed me to grow up in Atlanta.”
“I feel like on the inside of the church we’re fighting this historical context,” Giglio told Lecrae and Cathy. “In other words, we love the blessing of the cross, but we don’t love to sit in it and realize this is what God’s asking me to do, to die to myself, and to live for him, whatever context that’s going to look like for me.”
“I want to flip that upside down because I think the other side of it is true with our nation’s history,” he continued. “We understand the curse that was slavery, white people do, and we say ‘that was bad,’ but we miss the blessing of slavery that it actually built up the framework for the world that white people live in and lived in.”
Giglio is no stranger to controversy. In 2013 he was forced to pull out of delivering President Barack Obama’s second inaugural benediction after a homophobic sermon he had delivered years earlier was discovered. In it he proclaimed that “homosexuals” will not go to heaven unless they are “cured” of homosexuality by accepting Jesus.
Pastor Louie Giglio, rapper Lecrae and Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy “had an honest conversation about race and the Church” on June 14.
Here’s an example of why words and their meanings matter.
“White Privilege” vs. “White Blessings” pic.twitter.com/VkSP6RP0t1
— Nicola A. Menzie (@namenzie) June 16, 2020
Lecrae responded by saying “the idea that you have the ability to dismiss” white privilege “is a privilege. You have the ability to not think about it. I cannot change my skin tone.”
I’m actually okay with @lecrae response to the white blessing comments
He said even trying to switch the words is apart of white folks privilege pic.twitter.com/vJxCY6Zno2
— Black Soulutions (@MrRoscoes) June 16, 2020
On Facebook Giglio responded to the criticism.
“Not a great choice of words. I failed. Trying to help my demographic move forward. But failed.”
Meanwhile, on social media many expressed anger at Giglio, with some noting that to call white privilege “white blessings” falsely suggests that white privilege is ordained or blessed by God.
Using the term “white blessing” instead of “white privilege” erases reality. “White blessing” implies that white advantages in society are ordained by God and allows white people to absolve themselves of responsibility for their own creation and perpetuation of white supremacy. https://t.co/uCzsnRKVIV
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) June 16, 2020
I did not have trying to rebrand ⚪ privilege as white blessing on my “honest conversation about race” bingo card. It’s not a blessing to be the beneficiaries/perpetuators of a ⚪ supremacist society. That suggests it’s serendipitous when our country is designed that way. https://t.co/0JqiDKkWi4
— BlackWomenViews (@blackwomenviews) June 16, 2020
That white man said he lived in the blessings of slavery. I would’ve flipped all that shit over.
— Karlous Miller (@KarlousM) June 16, 2020
The idea that we should stop calling the reality “white privilege” by that name b/c it offends some white people and should instead call it “white blessing” as Giglio suggests is so deeply frustrating & exhausting that it literally makes my soul ache.pic.twitter.com/WFgHLizmTR
— Kyle J. Howard (@KyleJamesHoward) June 16, 2020
White privilege is wanting to rebrand something as white blessing because white fragility makes white people not want to hear about white privilege. Yeah, the concept is supposed to make you uncomfortable because the reality is uncomfortable.
— BethEBanana🍌 (@hithisisbanana) June 16, 2020
PS- It’s incredibly dangerous to normalize white privilege as white blessing. It makes something that inflicts results in systemic abuse and oppression of others sound almost delightful; that perpetuates ⚪ supremacy even further. Stop prioritizing your comfort over our survival.
— BlackWomenViews (@blackwomenviews) June 16, 2020
Changing white privilege to white blessing is white privilege. God is not in it. I say this w/ grace but in truth. Slavery was so painful that this generation is still patching up the wounds from the sin of white supremacy, past & present. The exact opposite of “white blessing”
— Katherine M White (@kwhitewrites) June 16, 2020
Trump: ‘I Think the Concept of Chokeholds Sounds So Innocent So Perfect’
President Donald Trump is weighing in on critical issues in the national conversation, by defending police chokeholds as “innocent,” “perfect,” and at times necessary, while suggesting that perhaps they should be banned, yet offering hypothetical examples of when they are necessary. He also says the nationwide protests against the killing of George Floyd, by a white police officer who pressed his knee into the unarmed, handcuffed, Black man’s neck for nearly nine minutes, are not only “unnecessary,” but “riots.”
“I think the concept of chokeholds sounds so innocent so perfect,” Trump told Fox News host Harris Faulkner in a pre-recorded interview that aired Friday afternoon, “and then you realize if it’s a one-on-one now if it’s a two-on-one that’s a little bit of a different story – depending – depending on the toughness and strength, you know we’re talking about toughness and strength, we are talking there’s a physical thing here also.”
“But if a police officer is in a bad scuffle, and he’s got somebody in a chokehold –”
“What if it’s a one-on-one?” Faulkner interjected.
“Yeah – and that does happen, that does happen,” Trump replied. “So you have to be careful. With that being said, it would be, I think, very good thing that generally speaking, it should be ended.”
Countless people, especially Black men, have died at the hands of a police chokehold.
“Sometimes if you’re alone and you’re fighting somebody, it’s tough … we have some real bad people” — Trump defends police chokeholds pic.twitter.com/DZfjT5isFU
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 12, 2020
In a different part of the interview Trump described the nationwide demonstrations that have been going on for nearly three full weeks as “riots,” calling them “unnecessary,” while making the case for why he should be re-elected.
Trump begins interview with Harris Faulkner by characterizing George Floyd protests as “riots” and “unnecessary” pic.twitter.com/Ir8HyeZpMx
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) June 12, 2020
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