Will US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell be Trump′s next security adviser? | News | DW | 12.09.2019
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Will US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell be Trump's next security adviser?

US President Trump called Richard Grenell, the top US envoy to Germany, one of five "good people" for the national security adviser job. But Grenell's assertive approach to diplomacy may lead Trump to keep him in Berlin.

US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell is one of five candidates under consideration to become President Donald Trump's new national security adviser.

Trump has said that he likes what Grenell has done as the US ambassador to Germany, according to news reports citing White House sources.

Grenell is best known for asserting US pressure on the German government, including by calling for Berlin to spend more on defense and pushing for a confrontational policy against Iran.

German media have described him as an agitator who meddles in domestic politics. But for Trump, Grenell may be just what he is looking for.

Read more: Why is Donald Trump ignoring Germany?

US Ambassador Richard Grenell approaches to shake hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Richard Grenell (left) has been a vocal critic of German foreign policy with regards to Iran and China

'Highly qualified, good people'

Earlier this week, Trump fired John Bolton from the NSA post, saying he had strong disagreements with him on foreign policy issues.

Bolton, best known as a hawkish neoconservative who considers regime change a viable option, was vying for influence in Trump's inner circle, a battle he appeared to have lost to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The other candidates for the national security adviser job include retired General Keith Kellogg, who currently serves as Vice President Mike Pence's adviser for national security, and Brian Hook, an Iran expert at the State Department.

Trump said he considers them all "highly qualified, good people that I've gotten to know over the last three years."

Read more: US military in Germany: What you need to know

Crash course with Germany?

It is unclear how Grenell would impact national security policy as a senior adviser to Trump. US foreign policy towards Germany, however, has taken a more confrontational approach under the Trump administration.

Experts told DW last month that Trump's "transactional leadership style" led him to snub Germany on a major trip to Europe for the G7 summit in late August.

"He sees himself as a boss, articulates clear goals and demands and rewards or punishes subordinates with advantages or disadvantages if they fail to meet his requirements,"said Josef Braml, a US expert for the German Council on Foreign Relations. "This is why Germany and Denmark are being punished with neglect."

Read more: Trump's troop talk again rattles Germany's security assumptions

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US criticizes Germany over defense spending

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