Richard Grenell: Pete Buttigieg Calling Mike Pence Anti-Gay Is Jussie Smollett Type Hoax

The ambassador to Germany is the highest ranking gay member of the Trump administration.

Richard Grenell, the gay ambassador to Germany, has accused Pete Buttigieg of staging a “hate hoax” along the lines of Jussie Smollett by calling Vice President Mike Pence anti-gay.

“Mayor Pete has been pushing this hate hoax, along the lines of Jussie Smollett, for a very long time now, several weeks,” Grenell said during an interview with Fox News, after watching a clip of Buttigieg noting that Pence thought the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was “too pro-gay,” because it would allow closeted people to serve in the military.

Mike Pence, Karen Pence
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Grenell said Pence, whom he called his friend, and Second Lady Karen Pence, who recently charged Buttigieg with using her husband for “notoriety,” were friends of his, calling them “great…godly people” who “don’t have hate in their heart for anyone.”

He added that they know his partner, and that they “have accepted us,” although he did note he doesn’t agree with them on every issue.

The ambassador also mirrored Karen Pence’s words by suggesting Buttigieg was only bringing up Pence’s anti-LGBTQ record now as a way to raise donations and gain attention as he runs for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Grenell questioned why Buttigieg, who would be the first openly gay president if elected, would criticize Pence when the vice president has spoken well of him in the past.

Buttigieg has addressed in a tweet, saying, “People will often be polite to you in person, while advancing policies that harm you and your family. You will be polite to them in turn, but you need not stand for such harms. Instead, you push back, honestly and emphatically. So it goes, in the public square.”

Video of Grenell’s comments on Buttigieg follow.


Former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart asked on Twitter why a sitting U.S. ambassador was going on television to speak out against a presidential candidate, to which Grenell simply replied he was defending his friend.

A number of people sounded off in the replies, many criticizing Grenell for seemingly ignoring Pence’s anti-LGBTQ record.

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