“Outside of his very active imagination, Donald Trump is no longer president and doesn’t have any ‘envoy ambassadors’ representing the United States,” a White House official told reporters.
Trump released a statement earlier claiming his “envoy ambassador” Richard Grenell, a former ambassador and staunch ally, had visited the countries Thursday to highlight an economic normalization agreement his administration brokered in 2020.
It’s not the first time Trump or his allies have acted as though he is running some kind of shadow presidency. His ongoing denial and delusions over his 2020 election loss have extended to the point where he has reportedly continued to hold “Cabinet” meetings, though it’s unclear who has participated in them.
Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said in July that he and Trump had been meeting with unnamed “Cabinet members,” describing Trump as “a president who is fully engaged, highly focused and remaining on task.”
Grenell was the Trump administration’s ambassador to Germany from 2018 to 2020 before becoming the special presidential envoy for Serbia and Kosovo peace negotiations. He was named acting director of national intelligence for about four months in 2020.
During his presidency, Trump slammed Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry for conducting what he called a “possibly illegal shadow diplomacy” when he reportedly met in 2018 with foreign officials in an effort to salvage the Iran nuclear deal.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.