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

Former DNI Dan Coats: "Every conceivable effort" must be made to protect election

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Dan Coats, who served as President Trump's director of national intelligence, wrote in a New York Times op-ed published Thursday that "every conceivable effort" must be taken to safeguard November's election from claims of illegitimacy.

Why it matters: President Trump has repeatedly baselessly suggested that increased mail-in voting could lead to widespread voter fraud, and intelligence officials warn that foreign actors, including Russia, will continue to try to influence this year's election.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

A fresh Joe Biden ad, "New Start," signals an effort by his campaign to make unity a central theme, underscoring a new passage in his stump speech that says he won't be a president just for Democrats but for all Americans.

What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin:

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m. ET: 32,390,204 — Total deaths: 985,302 — Total recoveries: 22,286,345Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 6:30 p.m ET: 7,020,967 — Total deaths: 203,481 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,476,600Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.