Metro Weekly

Ric Grenell, gay Trump cabinet member, joins Newsmax as contributor

Hire of vocal Trump supporter comes as Newsmax attempts to establish itself as a more conservative alternative to Fox News.

Richard Grenell — Photo: U.S. Consulate Munich / Wiki Commons

Ric Grenell, the former Acting Director of National Intelligence and the first LGBTQ Cabinet-level appointee, has been hired as an on-air analyst and contributor for the right-wing cable news network Newsmax.

The hiring comes as Newsmax seeks to establish itself as an alternative to Fox News among conservative, pro-Trump voters who believe the 2020 was stolen. The cable network started 2021 with strong ratings in January, amid the Capitol riot, President Biden’s inauguration, and the early weeks of the new administration.

It has since failed to keep pace with Fox News, which brings in about 2.5 million viewers in prime time, compared to 120,000 prime time viewers for Newsmax on an average day, reports Mediaite.

“Ric Grenell is a master of politics, media, and government and we believe our viewers will gain great insight from his broad experience and public service,” Christopher Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, said in a statement. 

“I am honored to join Newsmax as a National Security Contributor and also to spearhead their international partnerships,” Grenell said in a statement.

Grenell, who is openly gay and lives in Palm Springs, California, has become known for his clapbacks and burns directed against Democrats and “woke” culture on social media.

When he was the U.S. Ambassador to Germany, he created controversy when he criticized German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s immigration policies and told conservative news website Breitbart that he was hoping to empower populist, anti-establishment conservatives in Europe. His comments reportedly resulted in him receiving death threats.

Grenell was previously floated as a possible Republican challenger to California Gov. Gavin Newsom in September’s recall election, but ultimately decided not to enter the race, leaving Republican Larry Elder as the favorite to replace the governor should he be recalled. Voters eventually decided to retain Newsom by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.

Related: Gay former Trump appointee Richard Grenell unleashes tweet storm attacking LGBTQ Victory Fund and Joe Biden

Grenell, a former Fox News contributor, also previously served as the U.S. spokesman at the United Nations during the George W. Bush administration, and was named special presidential envoy for Kosovo and Serbia negotiations while serving as U.S. ambassador to Germany.

In announcing his new position, Grenell also praised Newsmax’s online viability.

“I see clearly the urgency to reach people through new OTT platforms and Newsmax is a leader in direct streaming capability,” he said. “In fact, many in my own family are exclusive streamers. They watch networks like Newsmax by simply accessing the internet.”

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