Richard Grenell is now the highest ranking gay man in the Trump administration. The hawkish former aide to National Security Adviser John Bolton was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday to be the next ambassador to Germany.
Log Cabin Republicans cheered the confirmation. "Ric Grenell's confirmation is historic for two reasons: He has now officially become the highest ranking openly gay official ever in a Republican administration. Second: Despite the interminable delays of Democrats hell-bent on standing on the wrong side of history, today the United States Senate confirmed a gay nominee not 'in spite of' Republicans, or 'with Republican support,' but because of Republican support," said the group's president, Gregory T. Angelo.
Although he was confirmed by a vote of 56-42, Democrats challenged Grenell's caustic taunting of powerful women, often criticizing their appearance.
Grenell once tweeted that Rachel Maddow “needs to take a breath and put on a necklace.” He said she looked like Justin Bieber in another tweet. Other women he insulted included Calista Gingrich, who he accused of having hair that she “snaps on.” He insulted two women and former secretaries of State with one tweet: “Hillary [Clinton] is starting to look like Madeleine Albright.” Democrats were troubled that Grenell would be the envoy to a powerful American ally that's led by a woman — Chancellor Angela Merkel.
"You know, respect for women and for people of different views and whatnot are essential for an ambassador, anywhere in the world," Democratic New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez told Grenell during his confirmation hearing.
Grenell appeared contrite and said he would act in a more professional manner as ambassador.
Now 51, Grenell made a name for himself serving as a spokesman for the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, serving during George W. Bush's presidency. During Mitt Romney's unsuccessful 2012 presidential run, Grenell briefly served as his national security spokesman, though he was ousted after right-wing backlash to a gay man serving in the role. Grenell later denied that was the reason for his departure.
Log Cabin was frustrated by Democrats and large LGBT activist groups that opposed Grenell's nomination to ambassador.
"Log Cabin Republicans will not forget the votes of the Democratic senators who stood in opposition to Grenell's confirmation, nor the roaring silence from LGBT advocacy organizations who did nothing to achieve this tremendous milestone in LGBT history," said Angelo. "Today, LGBT Republicans have a major victory to celebrate. The grassroots advocacy of our members across the country made this win possible, and we intend to savor it."