Grenell, who also recently served as acting director of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), confirmed reports on Sunday that he will no longer be returning to Berlin.
“True,” Grenell wrote on Twitter in response to a tweet from a reporter with The Daily Wire, who wrote that the news outlet reported two months ago that he was stepping down from his ambassador role.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) May 24, 2020
Grennell, 53, who has spent little more than two years in the job, will be leaving his post in the coming weeks. According to German news agency DPA, he is expected to be replaced by Robin Quinville, deputy chief of mission at the embassy.
The news follows the U.S. Senate’s confirmation Thursday that President Donald Trump ally Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) will take on the role as the permanent director of national intelligence. He was narrowly confirmed with a final vote of 49-44, and is expected to enter office next week.
Grenell congratulated Ratcliffe on his new role, saying, “You will be the best DNI ever!”
The post of director of national intelligence, which was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, oversees the 17 U.S. civilian and military intelligence agencies including the CIA.
Grenell has been the U.S. ambassador to Germany since 2018. Before that, he was the U.S. spokesman at the United Nations in the George W. Bush administration, including under then-ambassador John Bolton.
Since May 2018 he has largely supported Trump’s foreign policy priorities, and the reasons behind his departure are unknown.
President Trump described Grenell as a “superstar” on Sunday in an interview with Sinclair Broadcasting.
“What Richard Grenell has done for this country is incredible,” Trump said, seemingly referring to Grenell’s role in declassifying the names of Obama administration officials who requested the “unmasking” of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn.
He sent a copy of the declassified list of the officials in a note to Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). earlier this month.