House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) used her weekly press briefing on Friday to attack President Donald Trump yet again, this time over his choice for acting director of national intelligence (DNI), according to The Hill.
Trump has tapped U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell to replace Joseph Maguire, who resigned this week after Trump expressed displeasure over a briefing provided to Congress about election security concerns. Maguire was also serving as the acting intelligence chief until the time of his resignation.
Pelosi and other Democrats have blasted Trump over his selection of Grenell, who they say has no experience working in the intelligence community and is viewed as a Trump loyalist.
“It would be like sending me in for brain surgery, to do brain surgery on somebody,” Pelosi said. “What?! Just doesn’t know the territory. And it’s very important territory. So what the president did is dangerous.”
Years of experience
Trump contends that Grenell’s prior role as U.S. spokesman to the U.N. and his work as special envoy for Serbia-Kosovo negotiations have afforded him substantial experience working within the intelligence realm. Furthermore, Grenell’s appointment is only temporary, and Trump is considering four other candidates for permanent appointment to the position, and that decision will be announced within the next few weeks.
The real reason Pelosi is making a stink about this temporary appointment likely has to do with the fact that Grenell is staunchly loyal to the president and is someone who is already making sweeping changes within the agency, including the ouster of Deputy Director Andrew Hallman and hiring a slew of new people who are not Deep State operatives.
Among those Grenell has brought on board — reportedly to oversee an agency-wide house cleaning — is Kashyap Patel, a senior National Security Council official who formerly served as a high-ranking aide to former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), The Hill reported.
The prospect of losing large numbers of Deep State operatives within the intelligence apparatus is surely cause for great concern among congressional Democrats, and Pelosi’s angry response to yet another Trump victory just looks ugly for her and those in her party.
The last straw
Trump reportedly decided not to tap Maguire for the permanent DNI role after he allowed one of his staff members, Shelby Pierson, to conduct the aforementioned congressional briefing about possible Russian interference in the November election, according to The Hill.
The fact that Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) was present for the briefing also reportedly angered Trump, who felt Schiff would “weaponize” information on possible Russian attempts to boost Trump’s re-election prospects.
Grenell has reportedly already started looking at the data on Russian interference that prompted the controversial congressional briefing.
Most would agree that Trump has lived long enough with Deep State efforts to undermine his administration, and would applaud him for taking concrete steps to put people in place who will work with him to implement his policies rather than continuing to sabotage them.