This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
Richard Grenell, who was named U.S. President Donald Trump’s acting director of intelligence, says he does not expect to be named to the post permanently.
“The President will announce the Nominee (not me) sometime soon,” Grenell wrote on Twitter on February 20, a day after Trump announced his selection to lead the nation’s intelligence agencies in an acting capacity.
As acting director of national intelligence (DNI), Grenell will not require Senate confirmation, as would a permanent appointee.
A senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told U.S. media that Grenell will remain U.S. ambassador to Germany while serving as acting DNI.
Grenell, a fierce Trump loyalist, also serves as the administration’s special envoy for normalization efforts between Western Balkan rivals Kosovo and Serbia.
Trump’s decision to name Grenell to the DNI post ignited vocal criticism by leading Democrats in Congress.
“Sadly, President Trump has once again put his political interests ahead of America’s national security interests by appointing an Acting Director of National Intelligence whose sole qualification is his absolute loyalty to the President,” House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
The White House insisted Grenell “is committed to a nonpolitical, nonpartisan approach as head of the Intelligence Community.”
Grenell angered many in Germany following his appointment as U.S. envoy to the NATO ally.
Shortly after arrival 2018, he drew condemnation for an interview with the right-wing Breitbart website in which he said, “I absolutely want to empower” European conservatives who are “experiencing an awakening from the silent majority.”
The DNI post was created after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on the United States. It oversees the 17 U.S. civilian and military intelligence agencies.