The man who served four U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations says Donald Trump is an easy choice over Hillary Clinton, and he tells WND and Radio America former GOP officials planning to vote for Hillary are exposing themselves as desperate to protect the system that has enriched them and advanced their careers.
Richard Grenell said he is particularly disgusted by the decision of his former boss, John Negroponte, to stiff-arm the Republican nominee and line up behind Clinton.
Negroponte served in the George W. Bush administration, first as U.N. ambassador, then as ambassador to Iraq before eventually becoming the first director of national intelligence. Earlier this month, Negroponte was one of 50 diplomatic and national security Republicans to issue an open letter opposing Trump’s White House bid. Later, Negroponte announced he supported Clinton.
Grenell, who served as spokesman at the U.N. for Negroponte and Ambassadors John Danforth, John Bolton and Zalmay Khalilzad, said Negroponte’s decisions don’t surprise him at all.
“I’m not surprised that John Negroponte is supporting Hillary Clinton because he is a creature of Washington that has benefited from the system,” Grenell said in an interview with WND and Radio America. “He likes the rules. He has greatly succeeded by playing by those rules. He’s a Washington insider.”
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He also said no one should be fooled by Negroponte posturing himself as a loyal Republican.
“I heard him personally, on many occasions, mock the president of the United States and the vice president, who appointed him to his position – that’s George Bush and Dick Cheney,” Grenell revealed. “He mocked them and their policies, yet he continued to work for them and he took higher jobs from them. So loyalty is not actually his strength.”
Grenell’s opinion of the others who signed the letter opposing Trump isn’t any higher.
“There are hundreds of experts who didn’t sign that letter,” he said. “So the 50 that did sign it, I’m not surprised. Many of them on that list I’ve never heard of, to be honest. There are some on that list that I’m surprised are still calling themselves Republicans.”
He said many others are like Negroponte and are comfortable with the way Washington works right now.
“There are some on that list that I never believed would ever vote for anybody but a mainstream politician that plays by the rules,” he said. “And then there are some that are going to lose a whole bunch of power if the rules are changed.”
Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with former U.N. spokesman Richard Grenell:
Grenell said Donald Trump poses a serious threat to business as usual in Washington, making insiders like Negroponte very nervous and people like Grenell hopeful.
“I’m excited when I look at the possibilities that Donald Trump brings to Washington because he’s somebody new and different,” he said. “He’s not a politician, and he’s not going to make decisions in the same way, which I have to say is the reason a lot of the D.C. types, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats are supporting Hillary Clinton.
“They like the rules. The rules benefit them, and so they don’t want the benefits to change. Donald Trump is willing to look at Washington, D.C., and the way we run it in a completely different way. And that’s refreshing to me.”
Just looking at the day-to-day headlines convinces Grenell that a major shake-up is needed in America’s approach to foreign policy. Over the weekend, more than 50 people were killed in a terrorist attack at a wedding in Turkey. Grenell said policy in Turkey is getting more complicated, thanks to the autocratic actions of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. But he also said it’s yet another example of the Obama administration – and Hillary Clinton – dropping the ball.
“It also has to do with a lack of U.S. leadership,” Grenell said. “When we see different situations like this bombing going on in Turkey, it is a sign that the United States needs to step up its leadership.”
He said the U.S. and Turkey both want to see Bashar al-Assad removed from power, yet they can’t seem to make any progress in that direction while Russia has no problems sending in tanks to protect Assad.
“We haven’t seen this in recent memory, where the Russians have moved from just talking tough against U.S. policy to actually implementing a military strategy to stand up against the United States, to stand up against Turkey, to really stand up against NATO and nothing be done about it,” Grenell said.
Grenell is very concerned about the rapid erosion of freedom in Turkey over the past eight years and especially since this summer’s failed coup against Erdogan. He said Hillary Clinton also failed to challenge that accumulation of power.
“When Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, he was openly challenging U.S. policy on Israel and Gaza and that was allowed to happen,” Grenell said. “I think the lesson that Erdogan has learned is that the world really isn’t watching. The U.S. isn’t paying attention, and he can do what he wants.”
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He also asserts that Clinton can’t spot terrorism when it’s staring her in the face, most glaringly in the case of Boko Haram in Nigeria.
“She considered it. She looked at the evidence,” Grenell said. “There were people within the State Department and within the U.S. government; Obama political appointees were lobbying her to put this group on the terror list. She looked at the evidence, and her judgment brought her to the point of saying, ‘I don’t think they should be placed on the terror list.’ That was a disaster.”
According to Grenell, Clinton also deserves blame for the mess in Libya and the general rise in terrorism in the world. He also said the recent revelations that the Obama administration paid $400 million to Iran at the exact same time our hostages were released also shows some clear differences between Clinton and Trump.
“Whether you call it ransom or not, that immediate payment is a policy that Obama defends and that Hillary defends,” Grenell said. “She says it wasn’t ransom, that it was appropriate. Donald Trump says, ‘No, we’re going to stop that sort of sneaky, secretive payment process.’ Whatever you call it, that sort of policy will not be implemented in the Trump administration. Hillary Clinton, however, wants to continue that.”
In addition to Trump shaking up how the Washington foreign policy establishment does business, Grenell said the GOP nominee would bring huge changes to the foreign aid process and insist on zero-based budgeting and justified foreign aid.
“What Donald Trump believes is that in January of the new year, countries should have to come to the United States and to the State Department to say, ‘This is what we’re going to spend your tax dollars on if you give us foreign aid,'” he said. “Those types of changes will never happen with a Hillary Clinton. They will happen with a Donald Trump.”
In the final analysis, Grenell said his choice in 2016 is an easy one.
“The choice in November for people is very clear,” he said. “It’s either you vote for Hillary Clinton and you get 5,000 liberal political appointees running the government, or you vote for Donald Trump and you get 5,000 conservative political appointees, with him, running the government.”