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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

Mike Allen, author of AM
Oct 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

VP debate brings back normal politics

Photos: Robyn Beck, Eric Baradat/AFP via Gety Images

Toward the end, the vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City got personal — about President Trump, a reminder of what this election will ultimately come down to.

Sen. Kamala Harris flashed back to last week's raucous presidential debate, arguing that Trump's "stand back and stand by" answer to a question about white supremacists "is part of a pattern."

UN poll: Most see climate change as global emergency amid pandemic

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (C) fronts a Fridays For Future protest at the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm in September. Photo: Jonathan Nacksrtrand/AFP via Getty Images

64% of people from around the world say climate change is a global emergency, a United Nations poll published Wednesday finds.

Why it matters: It's biggest global survey on climate change ever conducted, with some 1.2 million participants from 50 countries — including the U.S. where 65% of those surveyed view climate change as an emergency.

Collins helps contractor before pro-Susan PAC gets donation

Sen. Susan Collins during her reelection campaign. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A PAC backing Sen. Susan Collins in her high-stakes reelection campaign received $150,000 from an entity linked to the wife of a defense contractor whose firm Collins helped land a federal contract, new public records show.

Why it matters: The executive, Martin Kao of Honolulu, leaned heavily on his political connections to boost his business, federal prosecutors say in an ongoing criminal case against him. The donation linked to Kao was veiled until last week.