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Trump to Name Bombastic Ambassador to Germany as Director of National Intelligence Despite Lack of Qualifications

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‘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:

Other experts and journalists agree:

 

 

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‘Groucho? Harpo? Chico?’: Matt Schlapp Mocked for Claim This May Be Final 4th of July Before ‘Marxists’ Take Over US

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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.”

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.

(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:

Here’s how some are responding to Schlapp:

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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Americans Should ‘Get Over’ White Privilege and Recognize It as ‘White Blessing’ Says Megachurch Pastor – To Outrage

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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.

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.”

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.

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Trump: ‘I Think the Concept of Chokeholds Sounds So Innocent So Perfect’

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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.

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.

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