Administration

Tillerson blocked Bush-era aide from NATO post: report

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson blocked one Bush-era official from consideration for President Trump’s ambassador to NATO, according to a new report.

Tillerson rejected Richard Grenell, former President George W. Bush’s communications director for the United Nations ambassador, for the role, The Weekly Standard said Wednesday.

{mosads}Former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) was reportedly a compromise pick, her bid boosted by her time representing Tillerson’s home state.

Reports emerged Tuesday that Hutchison is the leading candidate to serve as U.S. ambassador to NATO.

A senior administration official told CNN that the administration wants to have Hutchison in the role before NATO meetings in Brussels later this month.

Hutchison served in the Senate for nearly two decades before retiring in 2013.

The Texas lawmaker served on committees including Armed Services, Appropriations and Veterans’ Affairs during her tenure.

Trump repeatedly called NATO “obsolete” during his 2016 election bid.

The president reversed course last month, saying he will continue to work closely with the military alliance on terrorism and other issues.

“I complained about that a long time ago and they made a change and now they do fight terrorism,” Trump said at a joint press conference with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.  “I said it was obsolete. It is no longer obsolete.”

Trump plans to travel to Brussels to attend a NATO summit on May 25.

Tags administration Diplomacy Donald Trump foreign affairs Kay Bailey Hutchison NATO Politics Rex Tillerson Richard Grenell UN United Nations

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