WSJ: Richard Grenell Carries Trump Diplomacy of 'Confrontation'


The shaking up of diplomacy in Germany, if not around Europe, has made U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, a favorite of President Donald Trump, carrying the administration’s torch of confrontation and change, The Wall Street Journal reported.

“The mandate of a diplomat is usually to be diplomatic; Trumpian foreign policy is obviously more confrontational,” former White House director of strategic messaging Cliff Sims told the Journal. “Ric is willing to be publicly confrontational with his host country if it’s in America’s national interest in a way that is not typical historically but directly reflects the way Trump operates.”

Amb. Grenell has rankled the German and European diplomatic establishment, pushing President Trump’s agenda by engaging, criticizing, and achieving, if not tactically dividing, the Journal reported.

“Embarrassing to the United States . . . It’s irresponsible,” former U.S. ambassador to Denmark, Rufus Gifford criticized, per the Journal. “It’s not the role of an ambassador. It’s disrespectful to the host government.”

It has not mattered to Amb. Grenell and has pleased President Trump, who views the mover and shaker “not just as his man in Germany, but his man in Europe,” Sims told the Journal.

Making “more enemies than friends, both inside and outside of Germany,” according to a senior administration official to the Journal, Amb. Grenell has challenged on NATO funding, trade, and Iran sanctions.

“I can’t think of a more successful multilateral organization than NATO,” Amb. Grenell said, per the report. “And not paying your commitments to NATO seems like not supporting multilateralism.”

While Grenell takes pages and chapters out of President Trump’s worldview handbook, some advisers complain the ambassador exceeds his mandate and does not accept direction on diplomacy, a source told the Journal. But it is so fitting for Trump administration, the president has asked his closest advisers if Amb. Grenell might be a fit for a larger role in the administration, the Journal reported.

“I’m hoping my tenure here can really push a U.S. policy forward that challenges Germans to understand that, as the largest economy in Europe, they have a global responsibility,” Grenell said, per the Journal.

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