|Richard Grenell during Senate confirmation hearing|
By a vote of 56-42, openly gay nominee Richard Grenell has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Ambassador to Germany making him the most high-profile openly gay appointee in the Trump administration.
From Chris Johnson at The Washington Blade:
Grenell — who has faced Democratic opposition over mean tweets he made about the appearance of women and other comments downplaying the significance of Russia’s influence in the 2016 election — was confirmed by a largely party line vote of 56-42.
Among the Democrats who joined Republicans in voting to confirm Grenell were Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.) and Claire McCaskill (D-M0). All Republicans present voted for Grenell’s confirmation.
Both of the senators from Grenell’s home state of California — Sen. Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein — voted “no” on his confirmation.
First nominated by President Trump in September, Grenell’s confirmation means an openly gay person high-profile seat in the administration and serve as U.S. envoy to the world’s fourth largest national economy.
Resistance to Grenell’s nomination came in part due to comments he made on Twitter years ago about the appearance of women, including Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Callista Gingrich and Rachel Maddow.
He has since deleted the comments online and apologized, but in the context of the #MeToo movement today the comments became a flashpoint anew.
Grenell famously resigned from the Mitt Romney presidential campaign in 2012 after only two weeks as a foreign policy adviser due to pressure from conservatives over his sexuality.