US intel boss Grenell roasts reporters as ‘too young’ to grasp Serbia-Kosovo deal, then explains it as a… ‘whole bunch of stuff’
Richard Grenell discharged reporters for failing to get to the bottom of a US-brokered agreement between Serbia and Kosovo, but his own description seemed spectacularly vague. The internet couldn’t let him get away with it.
The acting director of the National Intelligence Service (DNI) tried to underscore the importance of the deal and expanded the efforts Trump had made to bring Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovar Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti to the table.
Reporters soon switched to other topics, however, and Steven Nelson of the New York Post asked him about decriminalizing homosexuality.
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“Let me just talk about Kosovo and Serbia. I don’t know if you can find it on a map. But that’s cruel, ”Grenell interrupted, clearly annoyed. “You may be too young to understand what this topic is about. Maybe the older journalists should come up and say, “This is a big deal. That’s a big problem, ”he continued.
Jeff Mason, a Reuters White House correspondent, replied that none of his colleagues “came here to give a presentation on our interrogation.” When Grenell returned fire, he suggested that the Balkans were “too complicated a subject for all of you” and offered to “take some time to talk about this 21 year old problem”.
Richard Grenell: “I’m just going to talk about Kosovo-Serbia. I don’t know if you can find it on a map … you might be too young … maybe it’s too complicated a subject for all of you.” @ Jeffmason1 : “I don’t think either of us came here to give a talk about our survey.” Pic.twitter.com/8nXKyCNv3J
– CSPAN (@cspan) September 4, 2020
However, his own presentation on the content of the deal was anything but convincing. “I think it’s an incredible economic normalization: air, rail, motor, border opening, a whole range of industries. So I don’t know what’s missing either, ”Grenell informed the group.
When asked for details, he said it was about “anything that the two parties could bring together – a great deal on the rails, a great deal on the water, a great deal in different industries.”
Those watching online were immediately ready to compare Grenell’s allegations that reporters were unaware of the reconciliation between Serbia and Kosovo with his own knowledge of it. The “pile” part deserves special attention.
It sounds like he went to Trump University. I’m surprised he didn’t say “enormous things”.
– HawaiiLover1967 (@ HawaiiLover1967) September 5, 2020
Some observers spat vitriol on Grenell’s personality and compared the ad on Friday to a “sitcom”. “I hate it when a series introduces a character right before the finale. Idk who that is, but he’s disgusting, ”it said in one reply.
Others said the official’s language could be useful in real life.
In my next interview, I’ll start off with insulting the interviewer and then responding to questions about my previous experiences with “I’ve done a number of things”. Seems like a good approach.
– Josh (@joshsladden) September 4, 2020
Grenell himself is no stranger to scandals and mistakes. During his work as US ambassador in Berlin, he gained the reputation of behaving as an “occupation commissioner”, mainly because of his diatribes against the German-Russian Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
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The retired diplomat spoke to the media shortly after the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo reached an agreement on the normalization of economic relations during a series of talks arranged by Washington. The move that President Donald Trump described as “historic” comes two decades after the end of intense hostilities between them with the NATO bombing of Serbia.
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