Trump Expected To Name Richard Grenell As Acting Intelligence Chief

Feb 19, 2020, 5:10 PM | Updated: Jun 22, 2022, 2:48 pm
GRANSEE, GERMANY - JULY 06: U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell attends a reception for the internaiton...
GRANSEE, GERMANY - JULY 06: U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell attends a reception for the internaitonal diplomatic corps hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Schloss Meseberg palace on July 6, 2018 near Gransee, Germany. Grenell, who was appointed ambassador by U.S. President Donald Trump, recently met with German auto executives to propose a cancelleation of tariffs on cars by both the U.S. and Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(CNN) — President Donald Trump is expected to name US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell as the next acting director of national intelligence, according to two sources familiar with the decision.

News of the pick comes as Trump faces a March 11 deadline to nominate a new director of national intelligence or name a new acting spy chief.

Federal law prevents the current acting DNI, Joseph Maguire, from serving beyond that date.

The New York Times was first to report the news.

Grenell is not expected to be nominated for the full time DNI position, which would require Senate confirmation.

He has made clear he has wanted to leave his post in Germany for a while now to return to another administration job or the private sector, a person familiar told CNN.

This allows Trump to fill the job for the time being with a loyalist while he figures out a long term solution.

“Some Republicans are outraged with job he has done as ambassador, there is no way he could get confirmed,” a source familiar with the move said.

Another Hill source said Grenell “couldn’t be confirmed” for the permanent position.

The vote to confirm him as ambassador was 56-42 and it was contentious. The fact that he is seen as a Trump loyalist would have been a problem for confirmation, even for Republicans who acknowledge that in that job having the backbone to stand up to the President is seen as a positive.

The formal announcement from the White House could come as soon as the end of this week, a source says.

There have been conversations taking place about Grenell leaving his post in Germany for some time, according to multiple sources.

Before it became clear that he was going to ODNI, Grenell was itching to get back to Washington and there had been discussions about him joining the Trump campaign in some capacity, the sources said.

“Joe Maguire is honored to serve as Acting Director of National Intelligence and to lead the women and men of the Intelligence Community until the White House names a new Acting DNI or a nominee is confirmed. We refer you to the White House for further questions about the status of the DNI role,” a DNI spokesperson said.

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Trump Expected To Name Richard Grenell As Acting Intelligence Chief