On Tuesday, former Southbend, Indiana, and presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was proclaimed by various mainstream “news” outlets as the “first openly gay Cabinet member” to serve under a U.S. President.
This is simply not true, former President Donald J. Trump actually appointed someone before the Biden Administration did. His name is Richard Grenell.
Grenell was appointed as the Acting Director of National Intelligence on February 20, 2020. He previously served time in the intelligence community, was an ambassador, and was an Envoy for Serbia and Kosovo Peace Negotiations.
Wikipedia makes the argument that Buttigieg was the first openly gay Cabinet member that was confirmed by the Senate, as Grenell’s position wasn’t and was a temporary position.
Donald Trump was the first President to appoint an open member of the LGBT community to a position in the Presidential Cabinet, by making Richard Grenell the Acting Director of National Intelligence. Grenell’s position was temporary, and never put forward for Senate confirmation. Pete Buttigieg was nominated by Joe Biden for the position of Secretary of Transportation and became the first openly LGBT Senate-confirmed Cabinet member following his confirmation on February 2, 2021.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_first_openly_LGBT_politicians_in_the_United_States#Nationwide_firsts
In articles covering the appointment of Buttigegie, Grenell isn’t mentioned nor even given credit with the technicality. He simply doesn’t exist.
Kyle Griffin, Senior Producer of MSNBC’s “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” even continues this lie in a tweet.
Film producer and potential California gubernatorial candidate, Mike Cernovich, defended Grenell on Twitter by confirming that he was the first elected gay Cabinet member.