Government - Trump Picks New Temp DNI
Donald Trump's choice for America's new "acting" Director of National Intelligence (DNI) is provoking concern because of his far right ties, and the fact he has absolutely no experience in intelligence.
Trump this week announced that Richard Grenell would replace Joseph Maguire as the overseer of the US intelligence community, when Maguire's term expires on 12 March.
"Rick has represented our Country exceedingly well," tweeted Trump, "and I look forward to working with him."
Trump is naming Grenell "acting" DNI, a trick that allows him to bypass the constitutionally required Senate confirmation process. But having a Trump loyalist in charge of the 17 US intelligence agencies is sparking concern.
"The intelligence community deserves stability and an experienced individual to lead them in a time of massive national and global security challenges," said the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia. "And at a time when the integrity and independence of the Department of Justice has been called into grave question, now more than ever our country needs a Senate-confirmed intelligence director who will provide the best intelligence and analysis, regardless of whether or not it’s expedient for the President who has appointed him," he continued.
Grenell most recently was US Ambassador to Germany, where he offended his host country with his hostility to the European Union, attempts to interfere in Germany's immigration policy, and frequent overtures to the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which has been involved in several racist and xenophobic incidents.
In contrast with President Barack Obama's Ambassador to Germany Philip Murphy - so popular that he had to rent out the Olympic stadium for his farewell party - Grenell is considered to be an irrelevant, isolated figure who is unable to impress his government's goals and policies on German officials. Instead, he's known for posing for selfies with AfD leaders and making appearances on Fox News.