Aug 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump's former spy chief: Being called a "nationalist" is not an insult

Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell praised President Trump in his Republican National Convention speech for being a Washington "outsider" and scoffed at the "DC crowd" for thinking that being called a "nationalist" is an insult.

The big picture: Grenell drew criticism from Democrats during his short stint as America's top intelligence official for his lack of experience and his alleged efforts to undermine the Russia investigation by selectively declassifying documents. He attacked the "Russia collusion" narrative in his RNC speech as "bogus," saying that the alleged abuses he saw "made me sick to my stomach."

Worth noting: Grenell, the first openly gay Cabinet official, did not mention Trump's support for the gay community, despite recently starring in an ad praising him as "the most pro-gay president in American history."

What he's saying: "In four years, Donald Trump didn’t start any new wars. He brought troops home. He rebuilt the military, and signed peace deals that make Americans safer. The Washington elites want you to think this kind of foreign policy is immoral. And so they call it “nationalist," Grenell said.

  • "That tells you all you need to know," he continued. "The DC crowd thinks when they call Donald Trump a nationalist, they’re insulting him. As if the American president isn’t supposed to base foreign policy on America’s national interests!"
  • "[W]ith Donald Trump, you always know exactly who is in charge. Because the answer…is you. You’re in charge. Not lobbyists. Not special interests. Not warmongers, or China sympathizers, or globalization fanatics."
  • "With Donald Trump and Mike Pence in the White House, the boss is the American people."
Go deeper