USA News

Richard Grenell, US ambassador to Germany, stepping down

Today News

Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell will step down as US ambassador to Germany, he confirmed.

Grenell, who took over as acting DNI in February, addressed the news in a tweet Sunday evening, writing “True” in response to a Politico report on the matter.

The confirmation comes hours after German news outlet Die Walt reported that Grenell would be exiting the role, citing information from the German Press Agency.

Ads

Grenell had served in his Berlin-based role since May 2018. He had also served since October 2019 as a special envoy for peace talks between Serbia and Kosovo.

The ambassador informed the White House back in March that he would resign from his embassy post after his successor for the DNI role, Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Tx.), was confirmed by the Senate, the Daily Wire reported at the time.

The outlet reports that Grenell told the Trump administration that he did not wish to return to Berlin after his time as acting intelligence chief had ended.

Ratcliffe was confirmed last week in a 49-44 vote.

It does not appear as though the departure has impacted Grenell’s relationship with President Trump, who called the ambassador a “superstar” during an interview with Sinclair Broadcasting that aired on Sunday.

RELATED:  In the mountains of southwestern China, a minority struggles for its future

“Richard Grenell is a superstar. He had guts, he had courage to do what he did,” the commander in chief said, citing Grenell’s “unmasking” efforts.

Earlier this month, Grenell declassified the names of Obama administration officials who were allegedly behind the “unmasking” of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

US citizens sometimes have conversations incidentally picked up through surveillance practices by the intelligence community that monitors foreign officials. Those citizens’ identities are supposed to be kept private, or “masked,” absent a warrant to reveal their identity.

US intelligence officials, however, can request the names of those citizens if they feel the information is pertinent to understand the intelligence. This process is called “unmasking.”

The Obama-era officials who were named by Grenell included former Vice President Joe Biden, former FBI Director James Comey, former intelligence chiefs John Brennan and James Clapper, Obama chief of staff Dennis McDonough, former national security adviser Susan Rice and former US ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power.

Efforts to see who was behind the “unmasking” were part of a larger probe into the origins of the FBI’s maligned investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and collusion by the Trump campaign.

Flynn was fired in early 2017 for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with the Russian ambassador, causing Pence to lie in an interview unknowingly. Flynn pleaded guilty in late 2017 to lying to the FBI about those conversations with Kislyak.

RELATED:  Teens arrested in Burbank street-racing crash that killed 3 and injured 2

In April, documents were released as part of a re-examination of Flynn’s case that showed the then-counterintelligence director of the bureau openly questioned whether the agency’s “goal” was to “get [Flynn] to lie.”

The four-page document included one page of handwritten notes, believed to be written by former FBI counterintelligence director Bill Priestap. The notes were taken in January 2017, following a meeting with Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, according to Fox News.

Priestap’s handwritten remarks were taken down on the heels of a critical interview with the newly installed national security adviser regarding Flynn’s contacts weeks earlier with Kislyak.

“What’s our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” Priestap wrote. “If we get him to admit to breaking the Logan Act, give facts to DOJ & have them decide. Or, if he initially lies, then we present him [redacted] & he admits it, document for DOJ, & let them decide how to address it.”

Flynn’s lawyers say they believe the documents support their case to reverse his plea, citing investigative misconduct.

The Justice Department has since moved to drop the charges against Flynn.


Today News || News Headlines || || Politics || Health || Technology News || Education News

Source

Tags
Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button
Close