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Today I officially resigned from the State Department. And President Trump presented me with a going away gift – my Cabinet Chair. “Acting” Cabinet Secretaries do not get chairs but President Trump wanted me to have mine because, as he said, “You are the First Openly Gay Cabinet Secretary and it’s a big deal.”
As he leaves his roles as the acting head of US National Intelligence and as US Ambassador to Germany, diplomat Richard Grenell has again heaped praise upon President Donald Trump.
As a thank-you gift, and to mark the fact Grenell was the first openly gay person to take on a cabinet-level role in an acting capacity, Trump bestowed on Grenell the gift of his cabinet chair.
Grenell was appointed by Trump to the acting intelligence position in mid-February. In late February, Trump announced he was nominating John Ratcliffe to take on the role in a permanent capacity.
Ratcliffe’s appointment was confirmed by the Senate last month.
Yesterday it was announced that besides departing the intelligence role, Grenell was also resigning as Ambassador to Germany. He held the position since April 2018.
Grenell has not given any reason for his decision to quit his role in Germany. Instead, he posted a photo to Instagram of him and President Trump.
“Today I officially resigned from the State Department. And President Trump presented me with a going away gift – my Cabinet Chair,” he said. “‘Acting’ Cabinet Secretaries do not get chairs but President Trump wanted me to have mine because, as he said, ‘You are the First Openly Gay Cabinet Secretary and it’s a big deal’.”
Grenell posted a link to a Washington Examiner story about his departure to his Twitter, featuring the same photo of him, Trump and the chair: “Happy Pride! 🏳️🌈 – thanks, @realDonaldTrump.” read his accompanying caption. Trump himself has not publicly acknowledged Pride Month.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) June 2, 2020
Also in the photo were an unnamed aide, while behind Grenell stood his partner, Matt Lashey; Jared Kushner; and national security adviser Robert O’Brien.
Among those to thank Grenell for his service was gay, Republican fundraiser Bryan Eure.
So proud of you @RichardGrenell and Matt @mattlashey for your stellar service to our country. We are so proud of you both. What an awesome photo and gift from the President to kick off #PrideMonth2020. You made history and made us all proud! 🇺🇸🏳️🌈🇩🇪❤️ pic.twitter.com/sfQOYGaE8V
— Bryan Eure (@JBryanEure) June 1, 2020
Although Grenell has yet to announce what he plans to do next, Washington insiders speculate he is imminently due to join Trump’s re-election campaign. Grenell has been a staunch advocate of Trump’s presidency and leadership. This week he has repeatedly taken to social media to defend Trump’s handling of the protests and riots engulfing US cities following the death last week of a black man, George Floyd, while being restrained by police in Minneapolis.
Until a new German ambassador is selected, the position will be filled by Grenell’s former Deputy Chief of Mission in Germany, Robin Quinville.