26 September 2023

UNITED STATES: Triple job for intelligence chief

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The United States Ambassador to Germany and former Fox News commentator, Richard Grenell (pictured) has been named as the new Acting Director of National Intelligence.

Mr Grenell, who will stay on at his post in Berlin while he transitions to his new role, has no previous experience in the intelligence community.

That decision mixes his political job in Berlin with a senior intelligence post that is supposed to be apolitical — something that is vexing former State Department and intelligence officials.

Last year President Donald Trump also appointed Mr Grenell as special envoy to the Serbia-Kosovo peace process.

The State Department didn’t respond to a request for comment on whether he’ll keep his special envoy role, but it’s not clear how Mr Grenell can carry out the day-to-day tasks of two, let alone three, jobs at once.

Senior Democrat on the US Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner said Mr Trump was shirking his constitutional duties by appointing an Acting Intelligence Director instead of nominating a fully-fledged chief, which requires Senate confirmation.

“At a time when the integrity and independence of the Department of Justice has been called into grave question, now more than ever our country needs a Senate-confirmed intelligence director who will provide the best intelligence and analysis, regardless of whether or not it’s expedient for the President who has appointed him,” Senator Warner said.

White House Press Secretary, Stephanie Grisham said Mr Grenell was “committed to a non-political, non-partisan approach as head of the intelligence community”.

She said that Mr Trump “has every confidence that Ambassador Grenell will perform his new duties with distinction”.

Washington, 22 February 2020

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