Richard Grenell, the former acting director of National Intelligence known for his stalwart defense of President Donald Trump, has officially left the administration.
According to Reuters, he stepped down from his position as U.S. ambassador to Germany shortly after he left his temporary post as the nation’s top spy.
“Resigned from his post”
A spokesperson for the embassy confirmed the news, noting that Grenell “resigned from his post and the State Department on June 1,” Reuters reported.
Reports indicate Robin Quinville, who served as deputy chief of mission at the embassy, will take over until a replacement is confirmed.
According to Reuters, Trump tapped Grenell to take over as acting DNI in February and he had been expected to step down from the post after the U.S. Senate voted to confirm U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) as a permanent replacement.
Democrats have long denounced Grenell as a Trump loyalist slated to serve in the administration to politicize the intelligence community. He did cause some controversy during his short stint, including over his decision to disclose certain information that purportedly showed misconduct by the Obama administration.
Among his final acts at the helm of the ODNI was the release of documents pertaining to the “unmasking” of former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“It’s a big deal”
“Richard Grenell is a superstar,” Trump said in an interview a short time later, according to the New York Post. “He had guts, he had courage to do what he did.”
Grenell also promoted Trump policies as ambassador, echoing the administration’s criticism of Germany over its defense spending, reported use of Chinese telecommunications technology, and other issues.
As Grenell explained in an Instagram post, the president left him with a parting gift — the chair he used while serving in the Cabinet.
“‘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,'” he wrote, according to The Hill.
Trump’s critics are quick to castigate him for surrounding himself with loyalists. As his first term comes to an end, however, it appears that his tactic has served the purpose of exposing some things that might have otherwise remained under wraps.