Richard Grenell, reportedly Trump’s pick for Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, tweeted in March “If you think Trump knows foreign policy issues then absolutely yes, you are stupid.” (UPDATE: The tweet was deleted)
Since Donald Trump gets his foreign policy advice “from the shows,” it’s no wonder he would choose someone “from the shows” for such a role. Grenell has been a Fox News contributor for four years.
The NATO alliance looks to play an important role countering Russian efforts to expand influence into Eastern Europe. Grenell is an advocate of NATO playing this role, while Trump has taken a Russian-friendly approach to world order, calling NATO obsolete.
Steve Saideman, of Carleton University who studies NATO, tells Vox “[It’s] confusing. As far as I know, Grenell does not hate NATO or want to burn it down.”
Trump isn’t ideological nor holds principled positions. Vindictive and intolerant of dissent, the greatest determinant of Trump’s actions seem to revolve around current narcissistic injuries. Trump fired Ben Carson’s aide reportedly for writing a critical op-ed. Despite Grenell’s harsh tweet, he’s been on the Trump train for awhile now. But having distinct, opposite, seemingly irreconcilable differences with the White House, Grenell’s role as NATO Ambassador will be one to watch.