- FOUNDATION FOR DEFENSE OF DEMOCRACIES - Feb 9, 2021 -
‘Germans got a free pass from the Biden administration,’ says ex-intel chief Grenell
President Biden’s government has been outmaneuvered by German Chancellor Angela Merkel on critical security fronts, Richard Grenell, the former acting director of national intelligence for the Trump administration, told Fox News.
“You have to give it to Chancellor Merkel: She outmaneuvered Joe Biden in just three weeks. Merkel made it clear she would not take sides between communist China and capitalist America, reversed the 10,000 U.S. troop withdrawal that Trump previously announced and got the Biden administration to stop enforcing Nord Stream 2 sanctions,” Grenell said.
Last week, Biden froze the plan to withdraw American troops from the Federal Republic. In December, Congress passed legislation — the National Defense Authorization Act — that contains sanctions targeting companies and individuals involved in the Nord Stream 2 project.
The Nord Stream 2 deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime will transfer Russian gas to the Federal Republic via a pipeline running under the Baltic Sea. Critics say the project will ensure that Germany becomes dependent for its energy needs on Russia—a major adversary of the US and Europe.
For Grenell, who was the first openly gay person to hold a U.S. Cabinet-level position and who also served as ambassador to Berlin from 2018 to 2020, the “message is you can have a ‘Germany First’ policy, have your businesses totally engaged with China, and you do not need to take sides between Communist China and America.
“Merkel always wanted to return to the table where she sits across from a weak U.S. president,” he continued, adding that she did not like the Trump administration’s “transactional diplomacy.”
According to Grenell, then-President Donald Trump told Merkel: “I do not blame you for wanting policies that benefit Germany, but you can’t blame me for sticking up for America.”
Merkel’s government faced intense criticism during Trump’s tenure for allegedly freeloading on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) by failing to honor its pledge to spend 2% of GDP on defense.
“From the German perspective, they get the pipeline [to import Russian natural gas] and do not have to pay their NATO commitment,” Grenell said. “Europe wants a U.S. president who won’t demand that they pay their bills.”