President Donald Trump on Tuesday named three of his supporters to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, including Richard Grenell, former acting director of national intelligence.
Many Jewish leaders supported the decision, including founder of Americans Against Antisemitism (AAA) Dov Hikind.
“I know Grenell, he’s an amazing guy, I think he’s a great addition. His sensitivity to the Holocaust, the Jewish people… I am absolutely thrilled,” Hikind, who is the son of Holocaust survivors, told reporter Jennie Taer on Wednesday.
Grenell served as the U.S. Ambassador to Germany before overseeing the nation’s 17 spy agencies, which made him the first openly gay person to hold a Cabinet position. He previously served as U.S. spokesman at the United Nations in the George W. Bush administration.
“He is a very special individual with tremendous sensitivity for other people and an amazing friend of the Jewish community in every single way. I wish more of my Jewish friends were as committed as he is to the Jewish people,” Hikind continued.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Council was established by Congress in 1980 to supervise the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. Trump previously nominated other allies to the council, including Andrew Giuliani, the son of the president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani.
Grenell will serve a five-year term on the Council.
“He is a wonderful addition to anything relating to the Holocaust because of who he is and what he’s all about,” Hikind said.
Jennie Taer contributed to this report.
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Rep. Patrick McHenry Announces Retirement, Adding to Congressional Exodus
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., has declared that he will not seek re-election, becoming the latest in a growing list of lawmakers departing from Congress. McHenry, a close ally of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, stated that he believes “there is a season for everything,” signaling the end of his tenure in the House. Having served since 2005, McHenry is the 37th member of Congress to announce they won’t seek re-election in 2024.
In a statement, McHenry reflected on the significance of the House of Representatives in the American political landscape, calling it the “center of our American republic.” He acknowledged the concerns about the future of the institution due to multiple departures but expressed confidence that new leaders would emerge and guide the House through its next phase.
The departure of McHenry and others comes against the backdrop of political shifts and challenges within the Republican Party. The GOP has faced setbacks in recent elections, including fallout from the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Internal strife and disagreements, exemplified by the rebellion against McCarthy, have characterized the party’s dynamics. The GOP’s approval rating stands at 30%, with a disapproval rating of 66%, reflecting the challenges and divisions within the party.
As McHenry steps aside, questions loom over the fate of open seats in the upcoming election. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report identifies five open House seats as potential Democrat pickup opportunities, while none are listed for the GOP. The departures raise concerns about the party’s unity and ability to navigate the evolving political landscape.
With a total of 20 departing Democratic legislators and 10 Republicans, the changing composition of Congress adds complexity to the political dynamics leading up to the 2024 elections. As McHenry emphasizes a hopeful view of the House’s future, the evolving political landscape will determine the impact of these departures on the balance of power in Congress.
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