World traveler Grenell: Trump's envoy who calls himself a diplomat, "tortures" liberals and journalists...

Grenell's "wandering" around the world has worried national security officials and diplomats who warn that he threatens US interests in the service of Trump's personal agenda.

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Grenel, Photo: Screenshot/Youtube
Grenel, Photo: Screenshot/Youtube
Disclaimer: The translations are mostly done through AI translator and might not be 100% accurate.

After Bernardo Arevalo, a fighter against corruption, unexpectedly won last year's presidential election in Guatemala, democracy in the Central American country was on the brink. Amid police raids on election offices and threats of violence, the administration of the President of the United States of America (US) Joseph Biden has been working to lay the groundwork for a peaceful transfer of power, but not Richard Grenell, a former diplomat and intelligence official in the administration of Donald Trump. He defended Guatemalan officials who confiscated ballot boxes.

According to the Washington Post, and transfers, Grenell met with a group that threatened to stop the inauguration. He defended Guatemalan officials who confiscated ballot boxes in an attempt to nullify a vote that the United States and international observers had declared "free and fair," and he attacked American sanctions.

Grenell's intervention underscores the important role he has played in the past three years since Trump left the White House. From Central America to Eastern Europe and beyond, Grenell has acted as a kind of shadow secretary of state—meeting with far-right leaders and movements, pledging Trump's support and sometimes working against the policies of the current administration.

Grenell's "wandering" around the world has worried national security officials and diplomats who warn that he threatens US interests in the service of Trump's personal agenda.

In the process, Grenell openly lays out a foreign policy road map for the Republican presidential nominee who has found common ground with authoritarian leaders and threatened to destroy partnerships with Democratic allies.

"I think Trump and Grenell would change the American leadership of the free world," said Daniel Fried, who spent 40 years in the highest positions of the State Department.

Grenell calls himself a diplomat, but acts like a war cabinet director who constantly praises Trump and challenges his political enemies on social media and in interviews.

"Grenell fulfills the main thing that Trump is looking for in his second term, which is absolute loyalty," said Trump's former national security adviser, John Bolton.

Grenell is in regular contact with the former president and his family, although it is unclear when and if he is acting on Trump's instructions. Earlier this year, Grenell attended the private funeral of Trump's mother-in-law. He has also been photographed numerous times at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. In an unusual statement from the former president, Trump once called Grenell "his emissary."

In the Balkans, where he served as an envoy under Trump, he continued to speak with heads of state who work separately with the Biden administration. Last year, as Turkey threatened Sweden on its way to NATO, Grenell tried to broker a meeting between Trump and the Turkish president.

Real estate in the Balkans

Trump campaign spokesman Stephen Chung declined to comment on whether Trump supports Grenell's foreign activities.

Federal law requires many people paid to act on behalf of foreign interests to register with the Justice Department and disclose their jobs. Bloomberg and the New York Times recently reported that Grenell and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner are proposing a major real estate development in the Balkans that could pose a conflict of interest if one of them were to serve in another Trump administration.

"This is a private sector investment. This is not a political matter. Jared and I are not in the government," Grenel said in a recent interview with an Albanian television station.

A native of Michigan, Grenell worked for several years as a spokesman for various Republican politicians, and then as the US ambassador to the United Nations. During a brief stint as a spokesman for Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, Grenell deleted a number of lewd and sexist social media posts and apologized. (He resigned after being rejected by some religious conservatives for coming out as gay).

Grenell's ability to "torture" liberals and journalists became an advantage when Trump became president, who invited him to mediate between Kosovo and Serbia. Kosovo was recognized as a sovereign state by the USA, but not by Serbia, which has long been associated with Russia. Grenel helped to reach an agreement on the normalization of economic cooperation in the region. Kosovo's prime minister accused Grenel of helping to sink his leftist administration and favoring Serbia's president, Aleksandar Vučić, but both countries later praised his work.

After Grenell left office in May 2020, Trump called him "the greatest actor of all time, in whatever capacity he held."

Return to the Balkans

After Trump's defeat, Grenell was no longer a diplomat, but a citizen who continued to travel and meet with world leaders.

He returned to the Balkans in November 2021 — days after dining with Trump at Mar-a-Lago, amid renewed tensions between Serbia and Kosovo.

On his repeated trips to Kosovo and Serbia, he used his status in the region to galvanize Trump's allies and denigrate Biden's efforts to negotiate a new peace deal.

In Serbia, Grenell is often hailed as a quasi-official, reflecting the perception that he speaks for Trump and could play an important role in a future administration.

"He is undoubtedly a friend of Serbia. He was when he held an official position, and he is still like that today. Everyone in Serbia appreciates that very much," said Serbian Ambassador to the USA Marko Đurić in an interview last year.

Sometimes this tendency has brought him close to officials who have ties to Russia. In 2021, Grenell partied at a cabaret club in Belgrade with the Serbian finance minister, a close ally of President Aleksandar Vučić, who faced criticism in the US for his authoritarian tendencies and ties to Russia.

Grenell's deep Balkan ties helped create the billion-dollar real estate projects he is now pursuing with Kushner's investment firm Affinity Partners, including a luxury hotel and office space in downtown Belgrade.

"I was thrilled to be able to get Jared and Affinity to look at the project and invest in it," Grenell said in a recent interview.

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