Trump considers gay conservative Richard Grenell for UN Ambassador
US President Donald Trump is reportedly considering picking an openly gay official to serve as the new UN Ambassador.
Conservative Richard Grenell is reportedly one of the candidates that could replace moderate Republican Nikki Haley, who on October 9 announced her plans to step down as the US Ambassador to the United Nations at the end of the year.
Politico reports that several advisers close to Trump have put forward Grenell’s name for the vacancy. If confirmed, he would become the most senior out LGBT+ official in the United States.
Grenell, who was previously a US spokesperson at the UN under George W. Bush, is currently serving as Trump’s ambassador to Germany since May.
In June, Grenell faced calls to be sacked after he told a far-right publication he would work to “empower” conservatives across Europe.
Grenell had given a controversial interview to Breitbart News in which he promised to help Europe’s anti-migrant conservative movements.
He said: “Many migrants have been allowed to come in, that was the policy of Chancellor Merkel.
“There are a lot of conservatives throughout Europe who have contacted me to say they are feeling there is a resurgence going on.
“I absolutely want to empower other conservatives throughout Europe, other leaders. I think there is a groundswell of conservative policies that are taking hold because of the failed policies of the left.
“There’s no question about that and it’s an exciting time for me. I look across the landscape and we’ve got a lot of work to do but 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.”
The comments, an apparent breach of diplomatic protocol on political neutrality, had led to calls for Grenell’s dismissal.
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said: “An ambassador’s most critical responsibility is to advance our national interests by developing relationships and trust with their host country.
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“They should not meddle in local or regional politics by backing political parties, candidates or causes.
“The United States does not accept foreign meddling in our elections, and we shouldn’t have an ambassador attempting to intrude in another country’s political affairs.”
Grenell previously served as a spokesman for Mitt Romney during his presidential bid, until May 2012.
His nomination as ambassador to Germany faced opposition from Democrats in the Senate for making derogatory remarks about women on Twitter and criticising the appearances of Hillary Clinton and US ambassador to the Holy See, Callista Gingrich.
He apologised for the comments and deleted them from social media platform.