Former acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell lambasted reporters for their lack of interest in the historic peace agreement brokered by the Trump administration between Kosovo and Serbia.
Grenell, who was appointed by President Donald Trump to lead the talks between Serbia and Kosovo, berated reporters on Friday during a White House media briefing when Steven Nelson of the New York Post tried to pivot towards a separate issue.
“Ambassador Grenell, clearly you were effective here as the special envoy to these talks between Serbia and Kosovo, but I wanted to ask you about another initiative you led,” said Nelson. “Last year you kicked off the Trump administration push to decriminalize homosexuality…”
“Let me just talk about Kosovo and Serbia. I don’t know if you can find it on a map. But this is atrocious,” interrupted Grenell, who was clearly upset.
“You might be too young to understand what this issue is about. Maybe the older journalists should step up and say, ‘This is a big deal. This is a big issue.’ I’m astounded at what happens in Washington, D.C., and especially in this room,” he continued.
“I gotta tell you, it’s substantive, maybe it’s too complicated of an issue for you all,” Grenell added.
“But respectively, this is the first time we’ve had the opportunity to speak with these individuals,” said another reporter.
“OK, but today’s about Kosovo and Serbia, let’s take a little time and talk about this 21-year issue,” interrupted Grenell.
“We’re getting the same questions that are all politics. You guys don’t understand what’s happening outside of Washington, D.C. People aren’t listening to you, anymore. It’s really a crisis in journalism, and I think it’s because people are too young to understand issues like Kosovo and Serbia,” he continued.
“How about a substantive question?” Grenell asked.
“I don’t think any of us came here for a lecture about our questioning,” said Jeff Mason, a Reuters White House correspondent.
“OK, well I didn’t come here to not talk about anything about Kosovo and Serbia,” responded Grenell.
The economic deal between leaders of Serbia and Kosovo also includes a mutual recognition agreement between Israel and Kosovo — a majority Muslim country. Serbia will also move its embassy to Jerusalem, which is seen as a great concession to Israeli interests in the region.
Here’s the video of the intense interaction:
Ambassador Richard Grenell slams journalists asking irrelevant questions