The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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Gay Republican Richard Grenell: Trump to Seek Presidency Again

Richard Grenell

Donald Trump definitely wants to run for president again, according to Richard Grenell, who was the highest-ranking out official in the Trump administration.

“He’s told me personally, multiple times, that he does want to run again,” the gay Republican said Saturday on The Count, a program on right-wing Newsmax TV. “So we’ll see if that holds and how that comes about. I think we’ve got a long ways to go.”

Trump had hinted that he might form a third party called the Patriot Party, but “clearly Donald Trump is a Republican and should run as a Republican,” said Grenell, who was ambassador to Germany and then acting director of national intelligence in the Trump administration.

Grenell allowed that not all Republicans are satisfied with their party but said the thing to do is to work from within rather than forming a new party. He praised the work of Ronna McDaniel, who chairs the Republican National Committee, while calling Trump the head of the Republican Party (he isn’t — the party’s website lists McDaniel and her team, plus congressional leaders, under “leadership”) and saying the former president is the most popular Republican in the nation.

Grenell also said tension and discussion within the party makes it better, and he pointed to results in Ohio and specifically Cleveland as an example of that. Barack Obama carried the state in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections and won the bulk of the vote in largely liberal Cleveland and its county, Cuyahoga. Trump carried the state over Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Joe Biden in 2020. Trump upped his percentage of the vote in Cuyahoga County from 2016 to 2020 — 30.8 percent to 33.3 percent — but so did the Democrats; Clinton had 65.8 percent of the vote, Biden 66.4 percent.

Groups bearing the Patriot Party name have been forming and registering with election authorities, and some have claimed to be engaging in joint fundraising with Trump’s campaign committee, but his aides have said that is not true. And however much Trump may want to run for president again, the U.S. Senate can prevent him from doing that if senators convict him in the upcoming impeachment trial and then take another vote disqualifying him from running for office.

Since Grenell resigned as acting director of national intelligence in 2020, he has joined an anti-LGBTQ+ legal group — the American Center for Law and Justice, founded by Pat Robertson — and spread lies about the presidential election being “stolen” by Biden.

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