Richard Grenell, former spokesman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, has been confirmed by the Senate in a 56-42 vote as ambassador to Germany. Grenell is now the highest-ranking openly gay appointee of the Trump administration.
The White House on Grenell’s background:
“Mr. Grenell, a foreign policy writer and commentator, founded the international consulting firm Capitol Media Partners in 2010. For nearly two decades, he has served as the primary communications adviser for public officials at the local, state, Federal, and international levels, as well as for a Fortune 200 ranked company. Mr. Grenell is the longest serving United States spokesman at the United Nations (2001-2008) having served four United States Ambassadors. He earned a B.A. from Evangel University and an MPA from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.”
Grenell’s confirmation had been blocked due to Grenell’s sexist statements, the Washington Blade notes:
The primary reason for the hold on Grenell purportedly was comments he made years ago on Twitter about the appearance of women, including Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Callista Gingrich and Rachel Maddow. Although Grenell years ago apologized and deleted those tweets, they stand out in the context of the #MeToo movement in which women are coming forward with allegations of sexual misconduct.
One 2011 tweet directed at Maddow, a lesbian news anchor on MSNBC, said she “needs to take a breath and put on a necklace” and another compared her look to that of pop singer Justin Bieber. One tweet directed at Gingrich questioned whether she “snaps on” her hair. At around the same time, Grenell tweeted “Hillary is starting to look like Madeleine Albright.”
Grenell served as an advisor to Mitt Romney during his 2012 campaign for president but was forced to resign two weeks into the job after a campaign by social conservatives over his sexual orientation forced him out.
The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer was among those leading the charge.
Argued Fischer in a CNN appearance: “Well, the point here is that personnel is policy. Everybody in D.C. says that. Personnel is policy. When Governor Romney picks somebody who is an activist homosexual and puts him in a prominent position, he’s sending a shout out, it seems to me, to the homosexual lobby.