The U.S. ambassador to Germany has been ruffling some feathers in the European nation of late for some extreme views he has made very public. Richard Grenell, who was appointed by U.S. President Donald Trump as the ambassador to Germany in September 2017, has angered some politicians so much that they want him kicked out of the country.
As reported by Deutsche Welle, Wolfgang Kubicki, the deputy chairman of the opposition Free Democrats (FDP), has had more than enough of Grenell and his attempts at “interference in German sovereignty.” Kubicki has gone so far as to suggest that Foreign Minister Heiko Maas should be declaring him persona non grata, which would strip him of his diplomatic protection and immunity.
“Any U.S. diplomat who acts like a high commissioner of an occupying power must learn that our tolerance also knows its limits,” said Kubicki.
The politician’s comments came after Grenell suggested on Tuesday that Germany is not spending enough money on their military involvement in NATO, and certainly contributing less than other countries have agreed to. The budget was revealed for the period of 2020 to 2032, with a much lower increase in spending than some expected to be announced.
Former Social Democrat leader Martin Schulz seems to agree with Kubicki, according to Politico.
“What this man is doing is unprecedented in international diplomacy,” Schulz said. “If a German ambassador in Washington said, ‘I’m here to strengthen the Democratic Party,’ he would be thrown out immediately.”
US ambassador Richard Grenell is acting like "a high commissioner of an occupying power," the deputy leader of the Free Democrats (FDP) has said. https://t.co/G7EixPS54S— DW News (@dwnews) March 19, 2019
Schulz also described Grenell as a “far-right colonial official” who appears to have forgotten what his role in Germany is.
Carsten Schneider, caucus manager of the Social Democrats (SPD) within parliament, has described Grenell as a “complete diplomatic failure.” He further warned that Grenell’s behavior “damages trans-Atlantic relations with his repeated clumsy provocations.”
Michael Grosse-Brömer, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief whip, also commented on Grenell’s frequent outbursts criticizing German policies, calling on him to “show restraint” with his opinions.
Grenell’s criticism of the German military budget echoes that of President Trump, who has often commented on the amount of money the country puts into their military. The ambassador is a vocal supporter of the U.S. president and has often spoken about championing conservative movements across Europe since he arrived in Germany, something that hasn’t been well received.
This latest controversy sparked by the American ambassador comes just weeks after he “demanded” that Berlin stop construction of a pipeline that was planned to deliver gas from Russia to Germany, even going so far as to threaten the companies involved in the construction with sanctions should they defy his wishes.
Grenell has also recently threatened the government with removing U.S. intelligence if they continue to allow a Chinese company to help build the infrastructure to bring a 5G network to Germany.