John Bolton has become the latest high-ranking official within President Trump’s administration to be asked to find the “exit” sign. The president cited strong disagreement on “many of his suggestions” for his decision to ask Bolton to step down as his national security adviser.
This president has been plagued by departures since his administration took office, some by his choice and some by choice of the departing official. Critics want to blame the president’s management skills, but those skills were well established before he ever came to office. In fact, this president had more real management experience prior to taking office than any president in U.S. history. So, what gives? To paraphrase Shakespeare, the fault lies not in the stars, but in the officials themselves.
One such man who has been fiercely loyal to America and to the president is the U.S. ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell. I have written about Ric Grenell several times this past year having become a fan of his effectiveness and straight-forward nature. His approach to dealing with foreign policy matters, and his use of social media to communicate, mirrors that of the president. For those reasons and others, he would make an excellent replacement to Bolton.
Since his very first day on the job in Germany, when he sent out a tweet suggesting that U.S. sanctions on Iran would be tough on German companies, Grenell has been shaking things up. Since then, he has repeatedly shown his ability to distinguish between when to be a diplomat versus when to be diplomatic.
Like the President, Grenell has taken a strong stance against the growing dependence of Germany upon Russian-supplied natural gas. He has done this not from the comfortable vantage point of a Washington think tank, but while on German soil. This demonstrates personal courage and a willingness to make an uncomfortable stand.
The ambassador also played a key role in having former Nazi Jakiw Palij expelled from the United States back to Germany prior to his death. Extradition was authorized years ago without action. Ambassador Grenell made it a priority and President Trump forced the issue. Grenell and the President Trump working together. That could catch on.
Grenell has been active on a variety of issues. He has been a strong advocate for ending the persecution of homosexuals across the globe, especially in the Middle East. This is an uncomfortable issue for Western diplomats who don’t want to rock the boat by pointing out these human rights abuses. The ambassador has shown no such absence of spine.
He is even a fiscal conservative, something unheard of in foreign diplomacy. His latest embassy budget asked for a zero increase in dollars. Nobody in Washington could recollect this ever happening.
Grenell’s use of Twitter, like the President’s, circumvents a biased and disinterested media to get facts directly to the people. This sort of behavior is off-putting to Washington insider types. They find the use of social media too crude for their country club tastes. These are, remember, the exact same insiders who have repeatedly failed to serve the president in the manner required.
In an effort to be inclusive, this president came to office reaching out to numerous political insiders who had been critical of him all throughout the 2016 campaign. He has repeatedly extended an olive branch to people of that ilk, hoping his open-mindedness would be reciprocated with loyalty and respect. While it is understandable why he would try, the results are now clear. Insiders will remain insiders. It is their nature. They value their own brilliance above all else and have great disdain for outsiders.
To them, the president was the ultimate outsider and he could never be as smart as are they.
That is not the attitude shown by Ambassador Grenell. Despite a brilliant pedigree of service (longest serving U.S. spokesman and appointee serving at the UN in history), the ambassador has consistently proven himself to be supportive of the president and his ideas. Grenell has shown the proper mix of vigor, leadership, and commitment. Unlike so many in Washington, he has actually earned his next role.
Woodrow Wilson and Harry Truman are two presidents who famously brought Americans home from Germany in the last century. They returned armies. President Trump, might I suggest you return just one American from the same region – one who has also made a significant contribution in his country’s service. Ambassador Grenell has earned a rotation stateside.
Charlie Kirk is the founder and president of Turning Point USA.