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Mainstream media erupts after Trump picks Richard Grenell to be acting DNI

Mainstream media erupts after Trump picks Richard Grenell to be acting DNI The news that President Trump had chosen Richard Grenell, th...

Mainstream media erupts after Trump picks Richard Grenell to be acting DNI

The news that President Trump had chosen Richard Grenell, the current U.S. ambassador to Germany, to be the acting director of national intelligence (DNI) sparked an avalanche of panic from the mainstream media.

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer led the charge against Grenell, offering negative coverage of the ambassador right out of the gate.

"President Trump appears poised to fill the critical job of director of national intelligence with a loyalist," Blitzer told viewers, accompanied by a graphic on the screen that read: "Sources: Trump to name loyalist Ric Grenell as acting DNI, avoiding Senate confirmation."

Blitzer then asked a panel to weigh in on the breaking news. And they weren't exactly kind.

"It is actually a stunning choice," former Obama official and CNN national security analyst Carrie Cordero said. "I think that Richard Grenell would be the least qualified person to ever hold that."

"The first five directors of national intelligence who were confirmed by the Senate who had been people with decades of professional intelligence community experience or extensive careers in the diplomatic core or ... there were two who were former admirals in the U.S. Navy," Cordero continued. "So these are people usually who have absolute decades of executive leadership in the military or in the intelligence community."

She said: "As far as I know from his background, he has no intelligence background whatsoever except for in his current capacity as an ambassador, he would be a consumer of intelligence information from some perspective. But really, his background as a communications professional, as I understand, is one that would be more suited to the spokesperson for the DNI than to serve as DNI."

Former federal prosecutor Shan Wu also knocked the appointment, saying Trump promised to "drain the swamp" and that he's now "filling the swamp up again" with loyalists.

CNN anchor Jim Sciutto, another former Obama official, later on-air called Trump's pick an "egregious presidential choice" and Grenell's lack of intelligence experience "alarming."

CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported on Tuesday evening that an unnamed Trump adviser told him that Grenell is a "polarizing figure" and "out of his league."

Several CNN analysts and commentators took to Twitter to express their disapproval.

"Are you kidding?" CNN senior political commentator David Axelrod reacted.

"Good grief," CNN senior political analyst Ryan Lizza complained.

"Trump is doing this because he knows Grenell couldn't be confirmed to the role, which is what the US Constitution requires. Once again, when the Constitution is inconvenient, Trump finds a work around and the Republican-controlled Senate just obliges. Originalism, indeed," CNN national security and legal analyst Susan Hennessey wrote.

"Under the current Acting ODNI, the IC has reportedly withheld Ukraine related information from Congress and canceled their annual, public worldwide threat briefing bc they didn’t want to upset Trump ( by speaking truth ) Grenell would undoubtedly double down on all of that," CNN national security analyst Sam Vinograd said.

But CNN wasn't the only network to blast Grenell. Many MSNBC personalities also condemned the choice.

"This is the definition of failing up. He failed miserably in Germany but at least wasn’t a threat to America’s national security. As Acting DNI, he will. Trump’s team of “acting” lackeys just keep getting worse," MSNBC host Joe Scarborough reacted.

MSNBC star Rachel Maddow on Wednesday night linked Grenell to the Ukraine scandal that led to Trump's impeachment based on claims made by Giuliani associate Lev Parnas.

NBC News contributor Ned Price declared that the appointment was a "slap in the face" to his former colleagues in the intelligence community.

"Grenell is a partisan bomb-thrower whose only skill is defending Trump. Trump’s decision not to nominate a permanent DNI underscores that he has no use for intel and no regard for national security," Price elaborated.

Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, who has becoming famous for her jarring flip-flops in the Trump era, called the appointment "outrageous" and predicted that Grenell will "pollute and discredit [the] intelligence community" after previously defending his honor back in 2012 after he resigned from the Romney presidential campaign as an adviser, saying "some on the right AND left won't tolerate a gay man working in foreign policy for a conservative. SAD."

Former Obama aide and Pod Save America co-host Tommy Vietor reacted, "Ric Grenell is not remotely qualified for this job. He is wildly partisan, vicious to critics and has almost no relevant experience. I often worry about Trump coopting and politicizing the intelligence community. Grenell will make it happen."

Podcast host Joe Cirincione declared the DNI pick as a "national disgrace."

"Grenell would be the least qualified intelligence chief in US history," Cirincione added.

Many highlighted Grenell's previous combative activity on social media.

"I see Trump is reportedly naming Richard Grenell acting Director of National Intelligence. Congrats to the first person I ever blocked on Twitter for aggressive rudeness!" Huffington Post senior politics reporter Jennifer Bendery wrote.

"Trump elevates Twitter troll to DNI," Washington Post political columnist Karen Tumulty created her own headline.

"Reminder: Jim Clapper spent 50 years in intelligence, headed two agencies, and served as the Under Sec of intel at the Pentagon before becoming DNI. Ric Grenell was ... a notably rude Twitter troll," journalist Garrett M. Graff similarly tweeted.


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