Trump Appoints First Openly Gay Ambassador to His Administration

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Richard Grenell, nominee to be US ambassador to Germany, testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Grenell is President Trump's first openly gay ambassador. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

The first openly gay ambassador pick during Donald Trump’s tenure was narrowly appointed to be the U.S. envoy to Germany on Thursday.

On an 11-10 vote, the Foreign Relations Committee recommended that the full Senate consider Richard Grenell to be the U.S. ambassador in Berlin, according to the Associated Press.

Grenell is not a stranger to politics. He served as a U.S. spokesman at the United Nations during President George W. Bush's administration, a Republican strategist who worked for Senator John McCain during his 2000 presidential campaign and has appeared as a foreign affairs commentator on Fox News.

While Grenell worked at the United Nations, he focused much of his work with Germany and sanctions against Iran, according to the New York Times. He is critical of Iran and particularly, like the president, of the Iran Deal that was brokered by world powers during the Obama administration.

Beyond their distaste for the Iran Deal, which aims to limit Iran’s access to nuclear weapons, Grenell and Trump agree on many other political ideals, such as the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accord.

The president and potential U.S. envoy to Germany also get along personally.

While his relationship with the president might be going well, other senators aren’t too fond of him.

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut told the AP that Grenell has made “derogatory comments about the appearance [of] Hillary Clinton; former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; and Callista Gingrich, the wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.”

"There are few professions that probably prepare you worse for being a diplomat than being a cable news commentator," Murphy told the AP.

Grenell said his remarks were jokes that weren’t as funny as he wanted them to be, and that he regretted saying them.

If appointed by the Senate, Grenell would join a list of ambassadors who have been openly gay in the past. Under the Obama administration, six LGBT ambassadors were appointed. The first openly gay ambassador, James Hormel, was appointed by then-President Bill Clinton in 1999. According to the Washington Post, many senators opposed Homel simply because of his sexual orientation.

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