Maggie Haberman of the New York Times last week reported Trump had tapped Richard Grenell for the position. A spokesperson for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee on told the Blade on Monday it does not “have an intent to nominate from the administration on Mr. Grenell.”
Grenell, 50, was the spokesperson for the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. from 2001-2008. The Fox News contributor and former chair of the California chapter of Log Cabin Republicans was a Trump delegate to the 2016 Republican National Convention.
“Trump has always made perfectly clear that he has a lot of gay friends, that he is totally for equality,” Grenell told the Blade during an interview at the convention. “And for me, it’s actually, I know we have a lot of work to do within the Republican Party on gay rights, but it’s really emotional for me to be here on my seventh convention.”
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in April 2012 hired Grenell as a foreign policy spokesperson for his presidential campaign. Grenell resigned from the post less than two weeks later amid criticism from social conservatives who criticized his hiring and commentators who criticized what they described as misogynistic and homophobic tweets towards MSNBC host Rachel Maddow and other women.
Grenell is scheduled to headline an event for the California chapter of Log Cabin Republicans in San Francisco on Thursday.
The Blade has reached out to Grenell and the White House.
Six openly gay men served as ambassadors during the Obama administration. They represented the U.S. in the Dominican Republic, Spain and Andorra, Denmark, the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, Australia and Vietnam.
Ted Osius, who is a long-time Foreign Service officer, remains the U.S. ambassador to Vietnam. Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Randy Berry also remains the special U.S. envoy to promote LGBT and intersex rights.