Jewish Democratic Leader Smears Richard Grenell as Nazi Supporter — Then Blocks Critics

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell joined the first-ever U.S. government delegatio
Joel Pollak/Breitbart News

Halie Soifer, the CEO of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, claimed Tuesday that Ambassador Richard Grenell had “emboldened actual neo-Nazis” — and she was promptly met by criticism from Jewish leaders and conservatives.

Grenell has served as U.S. Ambassador to Germany, playing a crucial role in pushing Europe to isolate Iran and to declare Hezbollah a terrorist organization, among other achievements. He also served as Acting Director of National Intelligence, becoming the first LGBTQ American to be appointed to a Cabinet role.

Soifer was commenting on President Donald Trump’s decision Tuesday to appoint Grenell to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, which supports the U.S. Holocaust Museum.

Soifer tweeted: “Today, Trump appointed Richard Grenell to the Holocaust Memorial Council. As US Amy to Germany, Grenell sought to ’empower’ far-right parties & anti-establishment conservatives in Europe. Others have been unqualified, but he’s emboldened actual neo-Nazis.”

Soifer linked to an article by the BBC in which Germans were described as having criticized Grenell for comments on the success of conservative parties across Europe.

Grenell made his comments in an interview with Breitbart News. He said: “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.”

He never supported far-right parties, nor did the BBC interview mention “neo-Nazis.”

Several individuals and organizations responded to Soifer’s false accusation, asking her to retract and apologize.

In 2019, Grenell helped lead the first-ever official U.S. government delegation to the March of the Living, an annual Holocaust commemoration in Auschwitz and Birkenau. Breitbart News interviewed him at the infamous death camp:

“For me, this is just deeply moving and really hard to deal with,” Ambassador Grenell told Breitbart News as he walked through the museum at Auschwitz.

“I can’t stop thinking about the individual faces and the stories, what they were thinking in this moment.”

Richard Grenell at Auschwitz (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

Richard Grenell at Auschwitz (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

In response to criticism of her comments, Soifer blocked many of her critics, including Grenell himself, on Twitter.

Soifer attempted to defend her comments on Wednesday, falsely claiming that Grenell had supported “far-right populists.”

Grenell responded indirectly to that claim, noting that he had “never empowered the far-right”:

In September, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) criticized Soifer’s organization for abusing the memory of the Holocaust by attempting to compare the U.S. under President Donald Trump in 2020 to Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler in the 1930s:

Soifer’s Twitter profile identifies her as a former national security advisor for Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, as well as a former “senior policy advisor” in the Obama administration.

In 2017, outgoing President Barack Obama named national security aide Ben Rhodes to the Holocaust Memorial Council. Rhodes had led efforts to negotiate a nuclear deal with the antisemitic Iranian regime, and had pushed anti-Israel policies, leading to widespread criticism of his appointment.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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