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Richard Grenell claims Trump thought it was a ‘big deal’ to have an ‘openly gay’ cabinet member… Sure, Jan

Nick Duffy June 3, 2020
Richard Grenell: 'Trump said having a gay man in cabinet was a big deal'

The former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Departing Donald Trump cabinet member Richard Grenell has claimed that the president thought it was a “big deal” to appoint a gay person to the role.

Grenell, one of the only gay officials in the Trump administration, is departing from his role as acting Director of National Intelligence after the confirmation of John Ratcliffe to succeed him.

The Republican operative, who has also served as ambassador to Germany since 2017, is also departing that role after opting not to return to Berlin.

In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Grenell confirmed his formal departure.

He wrote: “Today I officially resigned from the state department. And president Trump presented me with a going away gift – my cabinet chair.

“Acting cabinet secretaries do not get chairs but president Trump wanted me to have mine because, as he said, ‘You are the first openly gay Cabinet Secretary and it’s a big deal.'”

The statement attributed by Grenell to the president is decidedly non-Trump like, given the president is not exactly known for caring about diversity or symbolism in a White House dominated largely by straight, white men.

Richard Grenell promised campaign to decriminalise homosexuality – but it doesn’t exist.

Grenell once promised a push to decriminalise homosexuality across the globe, saying: “Seventy-one countries criminalise homosexuality and eight will put you to death for being gay. The Trump administration is launching a new push with our European allies to end this human rights outrage.”

However, although much-touted by gay Trump supporters, there is little evidence that any such US-led “global campaign to decriminalise homosexuality” ever existed beyond an initial press release.

Donald Trump himself has previously admitted he doesn’t have a clue about any such effort.

Trump official has ties to Hungary’s far-right transphobic government.

It emerged in February that Grenell has financial links to Hungary’s far-right government.

The Washington Post reported that Grenell failed to register as a foreign agent in 2016 while advising the Magyar Foundation, which is “almost entirely” funded by Viktor Orbán’s far-right government.

His work for the Hungary-linked group was not disclosed on a list of clients on a public financial disclosure form for his appointment.

Orbán is considered one of the foremost racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic world leaders.

Just this month, the Hungarian government pushed through a bill to end all legal gender recognition for trans people, an unprecedented measure which activists says will plunge Hungary “back towards the dark ages” for LGBT+ people.

More: Donald Trump, LGBT, richard grenell

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