Journalists began to freak out Wednesday evening after President Donald Trump named U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell to be the next acting director of national intelligence.
Even before Trump confirmed the position in a series of tweets Wednesday, the media began to question the decision. CNN claimed he would not be nominated beyond acting status because “there is no way he could get confirmed” by the Senate.
Following the official announcement, journalists flooded social media with negative opinions about Trump’s pick.
“Another slap in the face to my former intel colleagues,” NBC national security and intelligence analyst Ned Price tweeted. “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.”
Are you fucking kidding me?! This is a joke, right? Does Grenell have even an iota of an intelligence background? https://t.co/BshN8BFB59
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) February 19, 2020
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough called Grenell’s new position “the definition of failing up.” He added that Grenell “failed miserably in Germany.”
“This is the definition of failing up,” Scarborough wrote. “He failed miserably in Germany but at least wasn’t a threat to America’s national security. As Acting DNI, he will. Trump’s team of ‘acting’ lackeys just keep getting worse.”
Journalist Garrett Graff added to the list of those complaining, writing that Grenell “was … a notably rude Twitter troll.”
“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,” according to Graff.
Meanwhile, CNN contributor Susan Hennessey tweeted that Trump chose this move “because he knows Grenell couldn’t be confirmed to the role, which is what the US Constitution requires.”
Trump is doing this because he knows Grenell couldn’t be confirmed to the role, which is what the US Constitution requires. Once again, when the Constitution is inconvenient, Trump finds a work around and the Republican-controlled Senate just obliges. Originalism, indeed. https://t.co/PhS3D5hsXh
— Susan Hennessey (@Susan_Hennessey) February 19, 2020
NYT says Trump is poised to name Richard Grenell as Director of National Intelligence.
Here’s Lev Parnas telling the Daily Beast that Grenell agreed to give a “heads up” to Kremlin-connected oligarch Dmitry Firtash if DOJ was about to move to extradite him to face trial here:
— Rachel Maddow MSNBC (@maddow) February 19, 2020
“Bear witness & take the toll of the last two weeks,” CNN anchor Jim Sciutto tweeted with a list of various decisions Trump has made. (RELATED: GLAAD Scolds Gay US Ambassador For Criticizing Buttigieg’s Attacks On Pence)
Bear witness & take the toll of the last two weeks:
– Trump purged officials who contradicted his claims on Ukraine under oath during impeachment
– He pardoned campaign donors
– He is appointing a loyalist with no intel experience to the most senior intel role in the nation
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) February 20, 2020
“Trump elevates Twitter troll to DNI,” Washington Post political columnist Karen Tumulty tweeted.
Grenell will be replacing acting DNI Joe Maguire, who will leave his position by March 11. Grenell will become the first openly gay member of the president’s cabinet in American history.