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Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell ripped the deep state “swamp” in Washington, D.C., along with Democratic politicians who leak classified information and the Left-leaning news outlet Political in a lengthy Wednesday interview with talk radio giant Mark Levin.
The career diplomat and civil servant who recently stepped down from his post as U.S. ambassador to Germany noted that he was a “consumer of intelligence since 2001,” though Democrats criticized his temporary appointment as head of the U.S. intelligence community.
Grenell also suggested that his presence in the ODNI was unsettling to the entrenched intelligence bureaucracy.
“An outsider coming in with fresh eyes is like the enemy because you’re going to look at things differently,” he said.
Though he did not provide any details, Grenell made clear that President Barack Obama’s White House was fully aware of the ‘Russian collusion’ plot launched against then-GOP presidential nominee and later President Donald Trump.
“There is no possible way that it wasn’t known inside the White House and that multiple layers of people knew about this,” Grenell said.
After spending years peddling a Russian collusion hoax, but under oath admitting you saw NOTHING, forgive us if we ignore your new warnings. https://t.co/OjWItUupc8
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) May 27, 2020
Don’t mess with Richard!
— Donald J. Trump (@TrumpPirates) May 27, 2020
He also talked at length about how Democrats and their allies in the media regularly panned his appointment despite his qualifications.
“Look what they did when I came in and was appointed. They immediately said this is an outsider who has no experience. And I heard that over and over, Mark, from most every news outlet. No experience, no experience,” he said.
“That’s not true. I have different experiences. I’ve been a consumer of intelligence since 2001, longer than a lot of the people who are in charge of overseeing intelligence from Congress. But that didn’t matter to them because I didn’t grow up in the system,” he added.
Grenell continued battling with the press until his last day Tuesday when he disputed a Politico story claiming he was taking a top position in President Trump’s reelection campaign.
The entire story isn’t true. And your response is scary – you don’t believe the campaign denial nor mine. But claim you have some anonymous source. Do you realize how ridiculous you sound? https://t.co/RAgx2Q35rh
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) May 27, 2020
“The entire story isn’t true. And your response is scary – you don’t believe the campaign denial nor mine,” he tweeted to a spokesman for the outlet. “But claim you have some anonymous source. Do you realize how ridiculous you sound?”
“Delete the story. It’s false. Why isn’t @Twitter fact-checking Politico? This story is wrong,” he said, likely a reference to the platform’s first-ever fact check, which involved (incorrectly) stating that Trump’s claims of mail-in vote fraud were “misinformation.”
The career public servant also offered praise for career intelligence officials and agency he worked with, adding they want to see the kind of reforms that he backs. But he added that members of Congress and their media cheerleaders proved to be the enemies of such reforms.
“It was the political people and the politicians who were ignoring the problems and the career people were clamoring for reform,” he said. “An overwhelming majority [of career officials] hate the leaks, they hate the manipulation coming from Congress, they hate how oversight is done through a letter, and then you don’t talk to anybody about it, and the briefings are ‘gotcha’ briefings. That’s not good.”
Grenell noted that some members of Congress weaponized the intelligence community against the Trump administration. As an example, he cited occasions when lawmakers would ask for oversight information in a letter, then leak the letter to the media before it ever arrived in his office.
“It’s a clear message that this is about grandstanding,” Grenell said.
Prior to his departure, Grenell declassified scores of documents including the names of persons who requested the unmasking of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and dozens of transcripts from congressional interviews regarding the bogus Russian collusion narrative.
Grenell was replaced by former U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas.
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