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Richard Grenell calls on NYT reporter to ‘correct’ the record for calling Pete Buttigieg first ‘confirmed’ gay cabinet member

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Former Trump-era National Intelligence Director Richard Grenell does not care for the way that the media keep downplaying the fact that he is the first openly gay person to have ever served in a U.S. Cabinet.

In a tweet posted Saturday afternoon, his former Trump administration colleague Sean Spicer drew his attention to a piece from The New York Times in which “reporter” Katie Rogers described current Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg as “the first gay cabinet member confirmed by the Senate.”

The piece angered Grenell, who maintains that this honor goes to him.

“A simple search shows that Katie is wrong. Yes, I was confirmed by the Senate. Does NYT have Google? Do they know about the Vacancies Act? Do we call Gerald Ford a former President?” he tweeted around 4:30 pm Saturday.

“And @katierogers doesn’t care if she’s wrong. She has an agenda and it isn’t the truth,” he added in exasperation in an additional tweet posted two hours later.

View the whole Twitter thread below:

According to a Politico report from when Grenell was appointed acting National Intelligence Director in 2019, the Vacancies Act made it so he didn’t “require another Senate vote to serve as acting director.”

In other words, because he’d already been confirmed by the Senate for another post — two years earlier, the Senate had confirmed him as U.S. Ambassador to Germany — he was essentially automatically confirmed the second time around.

And so in a way, one could say that what Rogers wrote was technically true. When then-President Donald Trump appointed Grenell in DNI in 2020, there wasn’t another drawn-out confirmation process.

But on the other hand, one could argue that Grenell has a point as well, especially given the establishment media’s repeated attempts to erase him from history.

Even the Brookings Institution, a left-wing think tank, has pushed back on the downplaying of Grenell’s appointment.

“For the first time in American history, an openly LGBT person will lead the intelligence community, a remarkable development considering that, until relatively recently, it not only denied employment to gay and lesbian Americans but thoroughly purged them from its ranks,” the think tank wrote after his 2020 appointment.

“While Trump’s appointment of Grenell can be criticized on other grounds, the appointment of an openly gay man to head an institution once closed to gays and lesbians is a milestone. Along with Pete Buttigieg’s historic presidential campaign, it is a sign of progress that people who harbored what was once considered the most shameful secret are now entrusted with guarding the nation’s most sensitive ones.”

Dovetailing back to Rogers’ piece, which was published Friday, it reads like a press release for the Democrat Party. She used the piece to essentially defend Buttigieg from the criticism he faces for having gone on parental leave amid a worsening supply chain crisis that’s engulfing the nation.

She predictably framed all the criticism — particularly the criticism from Fox News host Tucker Carlson — as bigoted or exaggerated.

In defending Buttigieg specifically from Carlson, Rogers claimed “Mr. Buttigieg is the first gay cabinet member confirmed by the Senate.”

“Mr. Carlson’s comments were criticized as sexist and — since Mr. Buttigieg is the first gay cabinet member confirmed by the Senate — homophobic,” she wrote.

She went on to slam Sen. Tom Cotton for his own criticism.

“Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, criticized Mr. Buttigieg’s performance as ‘so bad that Americans didn’t even realize he spent the last two months absent on paternity leave,’ an insult that exaggerated how long the secretary was out of the office,” she argued.

It’s not an exaggeration to state factually that Buttigieg has been on parental leave for two months and counting.

“Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, a Democrat and the first senator in history to give birth while in office, said those comments only highlighted the gender discrimination that fathers continued to face when they take parental leave,” Rogers continued, echoing Democrat Party talking points to a T.

Not included anywhere in the piece was there any mention of Grenell.

As of Sunday afternoon, Rogers had not responded to Grenell’s complaints or issued any sort of correction or update.

Vivek Saxena

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