Donald Trump made an announcement on Wednesday that one of his closest loyalists, Ambassador Rick Grenell will be the new acting intelligence chief.
The announcement makes history, as Grenell will be the first openly gay cabinet secretary.
Trump also expressed his gratitude to outgoing director Joseph Maguire “for the wonderful job he has done, and we look forward to working with him closely, perhaps in another capacity within the Administration!”
The appointment comes as the needs to meet the March 11 deadline to nominate a new director for the national intelligence as federal law prevents Maguire to serve beyond the said date.
Choosing Grenell proves that the President wants a trusted and aggressive leader to forefront an intelligence community that he [Trump] always viewed with suspicion.
One of the roles in overseeing the intelligence agency includes choosing which spy reports and analysis shall be sent to the White House and which threats will be urgently communicated to the President and the congressional leaders.
He is expected t begin his new job on Thursday, and is expected to keep his current role as the ambassador to Germany.
However, Grenell’s lack of intelligence-related experience may unsettle the community, which had experienced numerous attacked from the President since 2016.
The appointment also raises concern among Trump allies, who pointed out that Grenell’s primary and perhaps sole qualification is his staunch loyalty to the President.
Former CIA officer John Sipher pointed out that the job is “requiring leadership, management, substance and secrecy,” and that Grenell “doesn’t have the kind of background and experience we would expect for such a critical position.”
Grenell has been outspoken about his concern to prevent Huawei to have access to 5G cell phone networks in the West.
He also stirred controversy in Europe by meddling in domestic political affairs, openly criticizing Germany’s stance on Iran and the country’s the open-border policies.