Richard Grenell demands White House press secretary “apologize to the gay community”

Richard Grenell and Jen Psaki
L-R: Richard Grenell and Jen Psaki

The former US ambassador to Germany under President Trump, Richard Grenell, says the current White House press secretary should apologize to gay people for “demeaning” language she used in a tweet from last year.

Grenell, who is gay, highlighted a tweet from Jen Psaki that she posted last August. In it, she used a much-used nickname for Senator Lindsey Graham, saying “only in 2020 does #LadyG get to push a bunch of debunked conspiracy theories while questioning @SallyQYates (aka an American hero).”

The tweet appeared after Graham quizzed the former Deputy Attorney, Sally Yates, when she appeared before a Senate Judiciary Committee.

‘LadyG’ is a nickname that was allegedly coined by male sex workers in DC. It has gone viral on Twitter on several occasions in reference to the Southern Senator.

Psaki’s tweet was first highlighted yesterday by the conservative, gay organization, Outspoken, and then retweeted by Grenell, who said Psaki should apologize.

Grenell later re-shared Psaki’s tweet himself, saying, “Homophobia and intolerance from the Left is growing. This should be widely condemned. @PressSec”

Grenell was a consistent supporter of Donald Trump whilst he was President. This is despite advocacy groups such as GLAAD keeping a running count of all the Trump administration’s attacks on LGBTQ people. It totaled 181 by the time Trump left office, including his ban on trans people serving in the military and a move to allow federal employers to discriminate against LGBTQ just days before his departure from the White House.

On his first day in office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order described by one leading advocacy group as “most substantive LGBT+ executive order in history.” He acted swiftly to overturn Trump’s trans military ban and has pledged to introduce an Equality Act to further cement LGBTQ rights.

Related: President Biden signs historic LGBTQ executive order on first day in office

Grenell was the most high-profile gay supporter of Donald Trump during his re-election campaign, spearheading its LGBTQ outreach and co-hosting a number of Trump Pride events with Tiffany Trump.

Besides being appointed US Ambassador to Germany, Grenell was also appointed by Trump to the position of acting Director of National Intelligence in February 2020.

Although Director of National Intelligence is considered a cabinet-level position, Grenell did not face a Senate confirmation because he only occupied the role in an acting capacity for four months. Trump later appointed John Ratcliffe to the role in a full-time position.

Grenell’s remarks yesterday come on the same day Pete Buttigieg was confirmed by the Senate in the role of Transport Secretary. This makes the former Mayor from Indiana the first openly gay person to be confirmed by the Senate to a Cabinet Secretary position.

Related: Pete Buttigieg becomes America’s first out Cabinet member

Grenell yesterday congratulated Buttigieg on his appointment but pointedly took the opportunity to remind people of his period in an acting cabinet-level role.