Trump gives Grenell his Cabinet chair after he steps down
Former senior Trump administration official Richard Grenell says President Trump gave him his Cabinet chair following his tenure as the temporary head of the U.S. intelligence community.
Grenell, who served as acting director of national intelligence (DNI), wrote in a post on Instagram that while acting Cabinet members are typically not given a chair as a parting gift, Trump made a point to give one to him as the country’s first openly gay Cabinet secretary.
“‘Acting’ Cabinet Secretaries do not get chairs but President Trump wanted me to have mine because, as he said, ‘You are the First Openly Gay Cabinet Secretary and it’s a big deal,’” Grenell said in his post.
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Today I officially resigned from the State Department. And President Trump presented me with a going away gift – my Cabinet Chair. “Acting” Cabinet Secretaries do not get chairs but President Trump wanted me to have mine because, as he said, “You are the First Openly Gay Cabinet Secretary and it’s a big deal.”
Grenell had held the roles of U.S. ambassador to Germany and acting director of national intelligence. His permanent successor as DNI, John Ratcliffe, was sworn in on May 26, while Grenell formally stepped down from his ambassadorial post on Monday.
Grenell wrote that the president gave him his Cabinet Room chair as a “going away gift.” He also posted a photo of him receiving the chair on Twitter with the caption “Happy Pride! thanks, @realDonaldTrump.”
Happy Pride! ️
thanks, @realDonaldTrump. https://t.co/4o7cLELD8N
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) June 2, 2020
The president named Grenell as acting DNI in February to replace Joseph Maguire — who also filled the position in a temporary capacity — after Trump erupted at Maguire in a meeting over concerns about his staff’s loyalty, The Washington Post reported.
Trump formally sent the nomination for former Rep. Ratcliffe (R-Texas) to become the permanent spy chief in March, and the Senate confirmed Ratcliffe on May 21. The position had been filled on an acting basis since former DNI Dan Coats stepped down last August.
Grenell told the White House he would step down as ambassador once Ratcliffe was confirmed, The Daily Wire reported in March, and the German Press Agency reported late last month that Grenell was expected to step down as ambassador in the next few weeks.
Robin Quinville, the deputy chief of mission at the embassy, will act as chargé d’affaires until a new ambassador is confirmed, according to Reuters.
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