Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) and former Director of National Intelligence Richard GrenellPhoto: Screenshot/composite
Out Republican and Trump administration official Richard Grenell, who repeatedly covered up for Donald Trump and inflamed international tensions as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany and as the acting Director of National Intelligence, is expected to resign as ambassador soon. He is also expected to step down from his role as the head of intelligence after John Ratcliffe was confirmed by the Senate earlier this week.
German government officials publicly shunned Grenell and ridiculed him, but Rep. Eric Swalwell’s (D-CA) Twitter battle with him shows just how little people think of him.
Related: How gay ambassador Richard Grenell helped deport a concentration camp guard
As acting Director of National Intelligence, Grenell promised to release a recording of former National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn’s phone calls with Russian officials. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian government officials during the campaign and before Trump took office but later withdrew his guilty plea.
Attorney General William Barr recently announced the Department of Justice will drop all charges against Flynn, but a federal judge has put the unusual decision on hold amidst allegations the move is politically motivated at Trump’s direction.
Grenell, who has a history of making inflammatory tweets, got into a testy back-and-forth with Swalwell last week on the social media platform. Swalwell challenged Grenell to release the recordings to prove that Barr didn’t drop charges against Flynn just to improve Trump’s chances at re-election.
During the exchange, Grenell promised to release the tapes. He still hasn’t.
Thanks for showing up on Twitter. You never once came to brief the Intel Committee (First DNI Director who failed to do so). If you have nothing to hide, why don’t you release Flynn’s call with Russia? #ShowUsTheTape https://t.co/2CbV9O1xMA
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) May 22, 2020
Those are coming. It’s very important for the public to see ALL of them. For too long the public has been misled. Just compare your committee’s transcripts to your public statements! #troubling https://t.co/gzyNJuQJDY
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) May 22, 2020
With Grenell out as the head of America’s intelligence forces, Swalwell took to Twitter to castigate the controversial official with an epic slam.
“All you have to show for your work is the dirt on your boots from shoveling and burying evidence for @realDonaldTrump,” Swalwell tweeted in one portion of the exchange.
The guy who spread “Russian propaganda” is the one who asked Russia to hack his opponent. It’s also the guy who said he believed Putin over the brave intelligence officers you betrayed. That guy is @realDonaldTrump. You chose to enable him. I choose to check him. https://t.co/ZgH2PHrXua
— Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) May 28, 2020
Grenell was the first gay person appointed to a Cabinet-level position. Some outlets have reported that Grenell will join the Trump re-election campaign after leaving the administration, but he has denied the rumor.
As ambassador, Genell breathlessly announced a new initiative to decriminalize homosexuality worldwide and claimed it had the full support of the president. Asked about the surprising pro-LGBTQ campaign, Trump said he knew nothing about it.