In a Tweet, former ambassador and gay-for-Trump Richard Grenell has thanked Vietnam War veteran Bill Calley for his service. Calley is a convicted war criminal.
As LGBTQ Nation reports, Grenell tweeted “Thank you for your service, Bill Calley! #VeteransDay.”
The tweet has since been deleted, for the obvious reasons.
Bill Calley received a court marshal following his role in the Mai Lai Massacre of 1968. Calley is known to have murdered at least 22 unarmed civilians during the attack.
Following the backlash to Grenell’s tweet, the former Trump official claimed to have been “duped” into making the remarks by reporter Ken Klippenstein of The Nation. Klippenstein admitted to messaging Grenell, encouraging him to compliment Calley who he claimed was his grandfather.
Duped. Trying to be helpful to people who reach out on Veteran’s Day.
It’s a shame people would do this on a day like today.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) November 11, 2020
“Duped. Trying to be helpful to people who reach out on Veteran’s Day,” Grenell tweeted. “It’s a shame people would do this on a day like today. DC is a sick city.”
Happy Veterans Day! pic.twitter.com/cotDkDUGs6
— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) November 11, 2020
Ken Kilppenstein provided screenshots of their messages via Twitter, along with a screenshot of Grenell’s initial tweet as well as Richard Calley’s Wikipedia page. The reporter admitted to messaging Grenell as a joke to prove that the former acting head of National Security lacked basic knowledge about American history. Klippenstein has also attempted the same prank on retired General Michael Hayden, a former CIA director who served under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Hayden, however, recognized he was being pranked and did not respond.
In Grenell, known for his uneducated Twitter rantings, he found the perfect stooge.
I got that too. I know exactly what was happening. Grenell surely didn’t. He’s an asshole. Again and again. https://t.co/yurekucUHV
— Gen Michael Hayden (@GenMhayden) November 11, 2020
“I got that too,” Hayden tweeted following Grenell’s comments. “I know exactly what was happening. Grenell surely didn’t. He’s an asshole. Again and again.”
The Bill Calley tweet is just the latest in a series of Grenell misfires. Earlier this month, he was laughed off stage after baselessly claiming voter fraud in the November 3 election, and for refusing to give his name to reporters. Grenell has also been outspoken in claiming Donald Trump is a pro-queer President, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.