Former acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Monday that his time in the Trump administration has shown him that the great political struggle is no longer between Republicans and Democrats, but between the District of Columbia and the rest of the U.S.
In his first TV interview since leaving the administration, Grenell explained a tweet he posted Saturday in response to criticism of Trump from former Defense Secretary James Mattis.
“The fact of the matter is,” Grenell said, “we have a real problem in Washington, D.C., because it’s a system that it no longer is Republicans and Democrats pushing against each other to create good policy. It’s a fight between Washington and the rest of America.”
“What we have [is] a system in Washington where people get jobs if you’re there, if you know someone and you work your way up, and it’s like musical chairs from one agency to another,” Grenell added. “There is no outside thought, there’s no outside perspective.”
Grenell, who also spent two years as U.S. ambassador to Germany, characterized Trump as a great disruptor of this insular system.
“He’s breaking their system,” he said. “He doesn’t play by the rules.
“I saw that at ODNI,” Grenell added. “I saw that by entering the intelligence world, and senators from the Democratic Party saying, ‘You have no experience, what are you doing — why should you be there?””
Grenell specifically called out Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, by noting that Grenell had received his first intelligence briefing back in 2001, before Warner was elected to public office.
“He said that I wasn’t qualified,” Grennell said of Warner. “I actually am a receiver of intelligence, and [I’m] an expert on the consumer part of the intelligence and how to utilize it, but that perspective is never brought to Washington.”