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Richard Grenell was first appointed Ambassador to Germany under the Trump administration.  He left that post to become the Acting Director of National Intelligence.  Once that position was filled by John Ratcliffe, President Donald Trump appointed him the US US Special Envoy for Kosovo.

On Friday, Grenell lambasted reporters during a scheduled press conference in the White House Press briefing room.  He had scheduled the presser to talk about events going on in Kosovo and Serbia and grew frustrated with the reporters in the room who instead of asking questions about the agreement between Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti to normalize economic relations between the two countries, they wanted to ask him about something else instead.

As they usually do, the White House reporters used their time to ask political questions, including The Atlantic’s phony story where they accused President Trump of calling American dead soldiers “losers” and “suckers.”  Just on the face of it, it was an absurd accusation.  Of course, they used “anonymous” sources, which means, they made it up, because there are no sources.

As Grenell approached the podium to talk about Kosovo and Serbia, the first question a hack reporter asked about an initiative Grenell started last year about the Trump administration pushing other countries to decriminalize homosexuality.  It’s something the LGBT community never recognizes, and when they do, it’s only to trash Trump by saying the administration only did it to look good to the gay community.  Imagine how insulting it is to ask the first openly high profile gay man in the Trump administration a question about a program from a year ago, which has absolutely nothing to do with what Special Envoy Grenell was there to talk about.  It was like the press didn’t really care at all about what the press briefing was all about, but they got both barrels handed to them.

Grenell went savage on them, berating the reporters for ignoring the significance of the deal with Kosovo and Serbia that he has was a big part of for the Trump administration.

“I’m going to just talk about Kosovo and Serbia,” Grenell said. “I don’t know if you can find it on a map, but this is atrocious. I have to tell you guys. You might be too young to understand what this issue is about. Maybe the older journalists should step and say, ‘This is a big deal. This is a big issue.’”


I say, Bravo, Mr. Grenell.  Doing some research I read about this story on an LGBT website, and they called his scolding of the clods in the press pool a tirade.  Had Grenell been a member of the Obama administration when this happened they would have lauded him from the ground up to the rafters, but because he works in the Trump administration they insult him.  I won’t even mention the site, because I don’t want to give them any attention.  But suffice it to say, their attitude on Grenell was not to look at the man and acknowledge that he has done great work in everything he’s done for the Trump administration.  Rather, they look at him as a gay man who is betraying the LGBT community because he is working for the Trump administration.

Grenell told the political hack reporters that lost all credibility with the American people.

“I’m astounded at what happens in Washington, DC, and especially in this room. I got to tell you, get substantive, maybe it’s too complicated of an issue for you all,” he said.

NBC’s Peter Alexander complained against Grenell’s scolding, pointing out that it was the first time that reporters had the chance to speak with the officials present for the announcement.

“OK, but today’s on Kosovo and Serbia,” Grenell replied.  “Let’s take a little time and talk about this 21-year issue here,” Grenell said. “I mean, 21 years. We’re getting the same questions that are all politics. You guys don’t understand what’s happening outside of Washington, D.C. People aren’t listening to you anymore. It’s really a crisis in journalism. And I think it’s because people are too young to understand issues like Kosovo and Serbia.”

“You guys don’t understand what’s happening outside of Washington, DC,” Grenell continued. “People aren’t listening to you anymore. It’s really a crisis in journalism, and I think it’s because people are too young to understand issues like Kosovo and Serbia.”  He then asked from the other side of the room, “How about a substantive question?”

“I don’t think any of us came here for a lecture about our questioning,” Reuters reporter Jeff Mason replied.

And Grenell gave it right back to him saying, “I didn’t come here to talk about anything other than Kosovo and Serbia.”  Again, Bravo, Mr. Grenell, for having the self respect and dignity to hand it back to the reporters who were insulting you with political questions and once again trying to take the press conference off track.

In the end, Grenell led a discussion about the Kosovo-Serbia deal and said that American and European businesses were prepared to invest more in the region because of this agreement.  It’s a big deal for people who remember what went on there.

“That is something that has never been tried,” he said. “We have been stuck on literally verbs and symbolism in terms of negotiations on the politics and we’re going to try something new.”

Mark Sidney

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