(CNN)The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is calling on the White House to immediately pull retired Col. Douglas Macgregor’s nomination for ambassador to Germany after his past racist, xenophobic and inflammatory remarks were uncovered by CNN’s KFile.
In a letter to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows sent Monday and obtained by CNN, Sen. Robert Menendez said that Macgregor’s “catalogue of disturbing statements” show that he “is not suited to serve in any position in the United States government, particularly a diplomatic post.”President Donald Trump announced his intent to nominate the retired Army colonel and frequent Fox News guest to the top post in Berlin in late July. His nomination was sent to the Senate a few days later.As KFile reported in early August, Macgregor has a history of making xenophobic and racist comments about immigrants and refugees in both Germany and the US.Read MoreA review of dozens of radio and television interviews with Macgregor showed that he frequently demonized immigrants and refugees.He warned Mexican cartels were “driving millions of Mexicans with no education, no skills and the wrong culture into the United States, placing them essentially as wards of the American people.” He repeatedly advocated to institute martial law at the US-Mexico border and “shoot people” if necessary.Macgregor claimed that Muslim migrants were coming to Europe “with the goal of eventually turning Europe into an Islamic state.” He criticized Germany for giving “millions of unwanted Muslim invaders” welfare benefits rather than providing more funding for its armed services. He downplayed Germany’s Nazi history and disparaged the nation’s attempts to reconcile and confront its past atrocities. “There’s sort of a sick mentality that says that generations after generations must atone sins of what happened in 13 years of German history and ignore the other 1,500 years of Germany. And Germany played a critical role in central Europe in terms of defending the serving Western civilization. So I think that’s, that’s the problem,” Macgregor said in 2018.In a 2014 interview with Russian state-controlled TV network RT, Macgregor said that Eastern Ukrainians are “Russians” — a Kremlin talking point that runs counter to the US government’s stance on the matter. The US and its allies oppose Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its hostilities in Eastern Ukraine.Menendez referenced these remarks in his letter, which was first reported by Foreign Policy.”While the President has made clear on countless occasions his disdain for Germany, the U.S-German relationship remains among one of the most important in the world,” the New Jersey Democrat said. “Colonel Macgregor would do irreparable harm in Berlin and to the reputation of the United States.”
Asked for comment on the letter, White House spokesperson Judd Deere said Macgregor “is enormously qualified to serve as the United States Ambassador to Germany.””He is an expert in German history and language, lived in Germany when he was a student and a cadet, and served in West Germany during the Cold War,” Deere said in his response, identical to the one provided in response to the KFile article. “While the Swamp may feel threatened by President Trump’s nominee, who believes strongly in putting America first, the White House wants to see this critical diplomatic post filled without delay.”