US Ambassador's Interview Causes a Ruckus in Germany

Richard Grenell accused of politicizing his post by expressing support for right-wing groups
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2018 11:40 AM CDT
In this Dec. 12, 2016, file photo, Richard Grenell, left, arrives at Trump Tower in New York.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

(Newser) – When Richard Grenell began serving as US ambassador to Germany in May, he was accused of offending his hosts on his very first day with a tweet about how German businesses should get out of Iran. A month later, Grenell has once again raised the ire of German politicians, this time over an interview he gave to Breitbart News. The ambassador's critics say Grenell is getting too political instead of remaining diplomatically neutral with comments like this one: "I absolutely want to empower other conservatives throughout Europe, other leaders," he told Breitbart. "I think there is a groundswell of conservative policies that are taking hold because of the failed policies of the left."

  • A hypothetical: Some German politicians are calling for Grenell to be removed from his post, reports Politico. It notes that former Social Democrats leader Martin Schulz tells a newspaper that "what this man is doing is unprecedented in international diplomacy." Schulz then provides an analogy: "If a German ambassador in Washington said, 'I'm here to strengthen the Democratic Party,' he would be thrown out immediately."
  • Context: Grenell is a staunch supporter of President Trump, and he has previously criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel's immigration polices as too lax, notes CNN. In the Breitbart interview, he said, "I think the election of Donald Trump has empowered individuals and people to say that they can't just allow the political class to determine before an election takes place, who's going to win and who should run."

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