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Germany Asks U.S. To Clarify 'Empowering' Right Call

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Germany Asks U.S. To Clarify 'Empowering' Right Call

Laurence Reese

German soldier holds a Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle at a military training ground near Weisskeissel Germany

Richard Grenell, appointed by President Donald Trump as the US ambassador to Germany, says he wants to "empower" anti-establishment conservative movements and leaders across the European continent ― a highly unusual statement for a diplomat.

The comments from Grenell, a former spokesman for the U.S.at the United Nations during the Bush administration, have drawn some criticism over his apparent line-crossing when it comes to diplomatic norms. Spokesman Christofer Burger said Ambassador Richard Grenell's inaugural visit to the ministry on Wednesday will provide an opportunity to "explain how he wants his statements to be understood".

In an interview published late Sunday, Grenell told far-right news site Breitbart he "absolutely wants to empower other conservatives throughout Europe" and encourage people to rise up against "elites".

Richard Grenell took up his Berlin posting on May 8 and immediately irked Germany when he tweeted the same day that German companies should stop doing business with Iran as Trump quit the nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic.

Before he was confirmed by the Senate, Grenell - a hyper-partisan Republican activist whose farewell party in NY was Donald Trump, Jr., Bill O'Reilly, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Wayne Newton and a half-dozen Fox News personalities - had promised to stay out of German politics.

Having claimed Grenell wanted to seek "regime change" it in the headline, the paper then credited the controversial term in their copy to a comment from a member of the far-left German Die Linke party.

Tweeted Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut: 'When I raised concerns to Grenell about politicizing this post, he personally assured me that once he became Ambassador he would stay out of politics.

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On Monday, the former Fox News contributor further strayed beyond his ambassadorial remit by requesting a short meeting with Benjamin Netanyahu at Berlin's airport following the Israeli prime minister's meeting with Angela Merkel. "I wouldn't draw any meaning into that that just doesn't exist", Netanyahu told reporters.

The comments by Richard Grenell, a former USA spokesman at the United Nations and an outspoken defender of Trump, drew criticism from politicians across the German political spectrum, warning him not to meddle in domestic politics.

"Clearly the United States ambassador sees himself as an extension of a right-wing conservative world movement", he said.

Washington's rookie ambassador to Germany has stood by his words about "empowering" conservatives throughout Europe - after being accused of openly interfering in the internal politics of his host country. "The idea that I'd endorse candidates/parties is ridiculous", he wrote on Twitter early Monday. "This interview is awful-Ambassadors aren't supposed to "empower" any political party overseas".

Many German politicians have also criticized Grenell.

Leading German politicians Tuesday called for the new U.S. ambassador to be expelled after the staunch ally of Donald Trump was accused of meddling in domestic politics and aggravating already tense ties. Jens Spahn, perhaps the most prominent critic of Merkel within her Christian Democratic Union party, has been photographed repeatedly with the new ambassador since he arrived in Berlin.

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