The appeal of U.S. ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell being potentially selected by President Donald Trump as his next ambassador to the United Nations is broadening beyond his core base supporters, with a key endorsement from Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) president Mort Klein.
Klein, the president of the billionaire Sheldon Adelson-backed pro-Israel group ZOA, wholeheartedly endorsed the idea of President Trump nominating Grenell to the U.N. post in a Breitbart News Daily exclusive interview on Monday morning, saying there is simply no other candidate as qualified as the president’s top diplomat in Europe.
“We’ve come out publicly endorsing him,” Klein said. “But first of all, he’s smart, eloquent, and resourceful. He knows how to get things done in the interest of America. He understands national security having worked for Ambassador John Bolton for many years at the U.N. He’s been at the U.N., I think, for–he spent eight years of his career at the U.N. So he knows it backwards and forwards.”
While Trump’s base is firmly behind Grenell as the potential successor to Nikki Haley now that former State Department spokeswoman and former Fox News host Heather Nauert suddenly withdrew her candidacy over the weekend, hearing voices like Klein’s and also those of key members of Congress like Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) step forward and endorse Grenell provides him even broader support than he had in the immediate aftermath of Nauert’s withdrawal. In other words, other candidates may divide Trump’s base over their views on various issues or connections to controversial figures, but Grenell seems to unite all factions.
ZOA strongly supports the brilliant resourceful eloquent @RichardGrenell to become the next US Ambassador to the UN. He has previously served with distinction at the UN and has been an extraordinary Ambassador to Germany. He knows how to get things done for America’s benefit.
— Morton Klein (@MortonAKlein7) February 17, 2019
Would be amazing to see US Amb to Germany @RichardGrenell as the next US Amb to the United Nations to replace @NikkiHaley. He’s smart, principled, experienced & highly capable of being one of the best & most effective ever to hold this position. 🇺🇸
— Lee Zeldin (@RepLeeZeldin) February 17, 2019
Klein is correct that Grenell spent eight years as the United States spokesman at the United Nations, including when President Trump’s now National Security Adviser John Bolton–then U.N. ambassador–was ambassador. But he served several other U.N. ambassadors as well.
Grenell’s confirmation vote in the U.S. Senate last year was one of the most bipartisan votes any of Trump’s nominees has seen, winning 56 votes on final confirmation. He won support from all of the chamber’s then-50 Republicans as the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) was not voting in addition to support from six Senate Democrats. Now, there are 53 Senate Republicans–all of whom would likely vote for Grenell’s confirmation in the United Nations post were Trump to nominate him–and three of those Senate Democrats who voted for him previously, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Doug Jones (D-AL), remain in the chamber so they would likely vote for him again. That would put Grenell on par to an easy path to confirmation, a path that does not exist so clearly for other potential names being considered for the post.
Other names in consideration include President Trump’s former Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell, former Michigan U.S. Senate candidate John James, and U.S. ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft. Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs first reported these names, but Breitbart News has since confirmed them:
LATEST on who Trump’s considering for UN ambassador:
—Dina Powell, his former deputy national security adviser
—Kelly Craft, US ambassador to Canada
—John James, former US Senate candidate from Michigan
—Richard Grenell, US ambassador to Germany
per sources w/ direct knowledge.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) February 18, 2019
While each of those other candidates has their own appeal, it is unclear if any of them would face as easy a time in Senate confirmation as Grenell would, as none have gone through the scrutiny that Grenell, who is openly gay, already has in his first round before the chamber last year. ZOA’s Klein adds that Grenell’s bona fides in terms of actually accomplishing President Trump’s stated goals in Europe, particularly with successfully stopping German companies from doing business with the Islamic Republic of Iran–something once thought impossible–make him even more appealing, given his effectiveness where others have not succeeded.
“This is a man who goes to Germany and has made one major company after another, when people thought it was impossible, he has made them stop doing business with the biggest terrorist funder in the world, Iran,” Klein said, noting that Iran “funds 80 percent of the Islamic terrorism in the world. When he first got there, Germany was very angry that he was even talking about this and now dozens of companies in Germany have stopped doing business with Iran as President Trump’s policy requires and promotes. He’s gotten this done. This is a man who is extremely effective, extremely smart, and by the way as ambassador to the U.N., he would also understand the Arab-Islamic war against Israel like no one else I’ve ever met. This is someone who will understand issues that are present in the Arab war against Israel. He’ll understand that issue as well.”
“I can’t think of anyone more qualified than Ambassador Rick Grenell for this job and we’re pushing for it very, very strongly,” Klein added.
Klein, who called into the Breitbart News Daily program on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel on Monday morning from Jerusalem, said that President Trump has been successful in many ways where previous presidents have not–most notably when it comes to moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Israel’s rightful capital.
Klein noted that he was calling in from Jerusalem, Israel, “not only the capital of the country of Israel, but also now where the United States embassy sits in the capital in Jerusalem.”
“When you have the most powerful, most important country in the world publicly recognizing that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and not the capital of any other country, it has inspired many other countries to say they are also going to move the embassy to Jerusalem because that’s where it belongs,” Klein said when asked about President Trump following through on the move that previous presidents of both political parties had promised but not delivered upon.
“It has never been the capital of any country except Israel. The Muslims claim it’s holy [to them], but it’s not true. The word Jerusalem doesn’t appear a single time in the Koran, not once. and when they controlled Jerusalem from 1948 to 1967 they let it be a slum. No Arab leaders visited. It meant nothing to them. Mecca is their holy city, not Jerusalem. When they pray, they face Mecca–not Jerusalem. They don’t face Jerusalem. Jews face Jerusalem. So, this was a very important thing, a fulfillment of one of many promises that President Trump made and has fulfilled by doing the obvious: recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and inspiring other countries to do the same,” Klein added.
Klein argued that selecting the more-qualified Grenell over one of the lesser-qualified other candidates mentioned in the public short lists so far could help President Trump deliver many more victories that his predecessors failed to deliver, like the embassy move in Israel. Klein looks no further than Grenell’s record as ambassador in Germany to find a major example of such a success: Grenell’s role in helping secure the deportation of the last-known living Nazi from New York City back to Germany, something both Republican and Democrat administrations before Trump’s had failed to do until Trump sent Grenell to Germany.
“Many presidents and ambassadors have promised to deport this man [Nazi guard Jakiw Palij],” Klein said. “None of them could get Germany to accept him. That’s really what the problem was. They had the right intentions, but they didn’t have the skills, talent, and wherewithal to convince Germany they’ve got to accept him. Rick Grenell got that done. He got them to accept this man, and he was sent away to Germany and out of this country. We don’t want Nazis in this country. Grenell was the only man who was able to do that. They have tried to deport this man for over 10 years. It never worked until he came. It’s another indication of how effective and talented Rick is, knowing exactly how to maneuver to get the job done that the President of the United States wants him to get done.”
LISTEN TO ZOA’S MORT KLEIN ON BREITBART NEWS DAILY: