Gay former Trump administration official Richard Grenell has been widely mocked on Twitter after trying to criticize the movement for D.C. statehood.
Legislation to grant statehood to the District passed the House of Representatives on Thursday, April 22. If passed in the Senate, it would grant D.C.’s 700,000 residents proper representation in Congress.
Prior to the House vote, Grenell took to Twitter to decry statehood efforts.
“No state should have all the Federal jobs,” Grenell declared. “If DC becomes a state then the federal government must move out of DC and disperse itself among the states.”
Unfortunately for the former ambassador to Germany, Twitter users were all to eager to correct him, noting that the vast majority of the federal government’s employees — 85%, according to ClearanceJobs — work outside of the nation’s capital.
Federal employees outside of Capital area
10 states w/largest # fed employees:
California – 172,553⁰
Virginia – 155,682
⁰Maryland – 149,673⁰
Texas – 148,453
⁰Florida – 99,212⁰
Georgia – 80,042⁰
New York – 68,579⁰
Pennsylvania – 68,300⁰
Washington – 60,250
⁰Ohio – 54,483
— – – —• Kelley •— – – (@andreagail_k) April 22, 2021
People didn’t hold back in mocking Grenell for his tweet.
One user noted that Grenell served as temporary acting director of national intelligence during Trump administration’s final months, and should probably know where federal employees are located.
Majority of federal workers not in DC. Preponderance of intelligence personnel not in DC, as a former DNI chief might know well. https://t.co/RVil6hYtkR
— Loren DeJonge Schulman (@LorenRaeDeJ) April 22, 2021
Grenell’s credentials for his former role were questioned as a result of the tweet.
You were the director of national intelligence?!? LOL
— Mueller, She Wrote (@MuellerSheWrote) April 22, 2021
One person thanked Grenell for inadvertently making the case for D.C. statehood.
Good news, DC doesn’t have all the Federal jobs. Thanks for your support of DC statehood!
— Zachary Pleat (@zpleat) April 22, 2021
Someone else branded his tweet “idiotic.”
It’s about making a point that really isn’t one because he’s that idiotic.
— nancy hayes pope (@HayesPope) April 22, 2021
And the hits kept on coming:
— Psaki Bombs of Sanity (@mampdx) April 22, 2021
Stupidest thing I have read today. Granted it’s still 8am, but it looks like it’ll hold.
— Isaac (@isaaccp) April 22, 2021
I am always impressed by your eagerness to have people laugh at you.
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@TheRealHoarse) April 22, 2021
One person referenced Grenell’s time as ambassador, where here portedly drew ire from both American and German officials.
German magazine Der Spiegel interviewed more than 30 “diplomats, cabinet members, lawmakers, high-ranking officials, lobbyists and think tank experts” about the Trump official.
“A majority of them describe Grenell as a vain, narcissistic person who dishes out aggressively, but can barely handle criticism,” Der Spiegel wrote. “His brash demeanor, some claim, hides a deep insecurity, and they say he thirsts for the approval of others.”
That story was rather brutally summarized in response to Grenell’s tweet:
You are still just as useless as you were as an ambassador in Germany. They’re still laughing about you
— Resistor the Resister (@Countermotion45) April 21, 2021
Earlier this year, Grenell reportedly began exploring a run for California governor, should a recall effort against Gov. Gavin Newsom succeed.
However, one GOP strategist told Politico that Grenell’s close ties to Donald Trump would be “a disaster” for his candidacy.
Another issue facing Grenell could be his lack of significant accomplishments to tout on the campaign trail. His signature achievement during his time with the Trump administration was the launch of a heavily touted campaign to decriminalize homosexuality globally, which purported to use the United States’ global influence to push countries to remove any laws that criminalized same-sex sexual relations.
The launch was undermined just days later when Donald Trump seemed unaware of the campaign during questions with reporters in the Oval Office, and 18 months after its launch it was branded a “sham” with “no major breakthroughs.”
Related: Caitlyn Jenner officially jumps into California governor’s race: “I’m in!”
LGBTQ students are protesting bullying and harassment with the “Day of Silence”
HUD withdraws Trump-era revisions restricting shelter access for transgender people
Lance Bass says Colton Underwood is “monetizing” his coming out experience
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!