President Trump is set to appoint openly gay Republican, and former U.S. spokesman at the United Nations, Richard Grenell to become the president’s ambassador to NATO, according to a White House official.
The position would make Grenell the highest ranking LGBTQ member of the administration. Bloomberg broke the story and reached Grenell by phone on Wednesday, but he refused to comment.
The Fox News contributor and one time, short-lived national security spokesman for Mitt Romney, before he left that role due to pressure from social conservatives, previously had his name circulated as a possible candidate for Trump’s ambassador to the UN. That position went to South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
Grenell has been a Trump loyalist since the beginning, and backed his framing of NATO as “obsolete.”
“I think this is about NATO reform, I don’t think this is about getting rid of a NATO alliance,” Grenell said. “I think this is businessman Donald Trump showing that he knows how to reform.”
In 2014, Grenell voiced support for Ukraine joining NATO, which would anger Russia.
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis recently visited NATO headquarters in Brussels. He sought to reassure other member countries of the United State’s commitment to the military alliance, while also encouraging them to meet their commitments of spending at least two percent of GDP on defense.
“No longer can the American taxpayer carry a disproportionate share of the defense of Western values,” Mattis said. “Americans cannot care more for your children’s future security than you do.”