Newly accredited US Ambassador Richard Allen Grenell stands in front of a military honor guard during an accreditation ceremony for new Ambassadors in Berlin, Germany, on May 08, 2018. (Photo by AFP)
US President Donald Trump’s ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, says he wants to “empower” the like-minded right wing in Europe.
“I absolutely want to empower other conservatives throughout Europe, other leaders,” the ambassador, Richard Grenell, told right wing Breitbart News in comments published Sunday. “I think there is a groundswell of conservative policies that are taking hold because of the failed policies of the left.”
The comments have led to backlash from liberals on both sides of the Atlantic.
Germany’s foreign ministry, led by a member of the country’s left-leaning Social Democrat party, has said that it would seek clarification about the comments when the US envoy meets with a deputy foreign minister on Wednesday.
This is not the first time the diplomat’s comments are taking the attention of the media. Soon after arriving to his post in Berlin in May, Grenell threatened US sanctions against German companies doing business with Iran.
“Clearly the U.S. ambassador sees himself as an extension of a right-wing conservative world movement,” Rolf Muetzenich, the deputy leader of the Social Democrats in Germany’s parliament, told Reuters in the wake of the latest remarks.
Chris Murphy, Democratic senator from the US state of Connecticut, also condemned the Grenell’s comments.
“This interview is awful,” Murphy tweeted. “Ambassadors aren’t supposed to ‘empower’ any political party overseas.”
The attacks made the ambassador respond.
“The idea that I’d endorse candidates/parties is ridiculous,” he said. “I stand by my comments that we are experiencing an awakening from the silent majority — those who reject the elites & their bubble. Led by Trump.”
Although diplomats are expected to avoid political point-scoring, Grenell directly voiced support for 31-year-old conservative Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (pictured above).
“Look, I think Sebastian Kurz is a rockstar. I’m a big fan,” Grenell told Breitbart. “I look across the landscape and we’ve got a lot of work to do but I think the election of Donald Trump has empowered individuals and people to say that they can’t just allow the political class to determine before an election takes place, who’s going to win and who should run.”
Bill Martin, the spokesperson for the US Embassy in Berlin, said the envoy also likes German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“I’d add that the ambassador has been clear in his interviews that he admires and respects the chancellor, and so has President Trump,” Martin said.
This article provided by NewsEdge.