Ex-Trump Aide and Twitter Troll Ric Grenell Joins Newsmax as VP and On-Air Analyst

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Chip Somodevilla
Chip Somodevilla

Ric Grenell, who was acting Director of National Intelligence under former President Donald Trump, has joined conservative cable channel Newsmax as an on-air analyst and executive.

The move for Grenell, a former Fox News contributor, is the latest instance of Newsmax filling its ranks with Fox News alum and Trump loyalists as the fledgling network strives to lure conservative viewers away from its wannabe rival.

According to Newsmax’s press announcement, Grenell will serve as a “national security contributor” as well as vice president for international development. The network said that Grenell will “work to expand the Newsmax brand internationally” in his executive role.

“Ric Grenell is a master of politics, media and government and we believe our viewers will gain great insight from his broad experience and public service,” Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy said in a statement.

“I am honored to join Newsmax as a National Security Contributor and also to spearhead their international partnerships,” Grenell added.

Grenell served as ambassador to Germany from Sept. 2017 through June 2020 under former President Trump. The loyal Trump aide was later installed as acting DNI in Feb. 2020, replacing Joseph Maguire. Grenell served in the role until May of that year, when former Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) was confirmed to take the post.

Outside his time working for the Trump administration and Fox News, Grenell is known for his acerbic presence on social media, regularly getting into Twitter fights and taking aim at the “fake news” and liberal pundits. He’s also faced backlash over his “snarky” tweets commenting on the personal appearances of female politicians and journalists.

Newsmax has recently undergone a minor makeover, after its ratings collapsed in 2021 following a brief post-election surge. The company hired two longtime Fox News producers in October to reshape its newsroom and brought on ex-Fox News reporter James Rosen, who was accused of sexual misconduct at Fox after his exit, as its new chief White House correspondent earlier this month.

At the same time, the network parted ways with primetime host and ex-Trump adviser Steve Cortes and White House reporter Emerald Robinson. Cortes’ departure came amid his public criticism of Newsmax’s vaccine policy, which is in line with the Biden administration’s requirement for large businesses. Robinson, meanwhile, was pulled off the air after she peddled the patently absurd conspiracy theory that COVID-19 vaccines include satanic “bioluminescent” trackers.

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