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Senator Weighs Holding Up Trump Nominee Over ‘Insulting and Derogatory’ Tweets

Sen. Chris Murphy is considering slowing the nomination of Richard Grenell—who would be the Trump administration’s first openly gay appointee—over his remarks about women.

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Richard Grenell, the Trump administration’s nominee to be ambassador to Germany, may face a longer road to confirmation than many of his contemporaries, in part because of his past remarks about women.

On Thursday, Sen. Chris Murphy’s (D-CT) office told The Daily Beast that the Connecticut Democrat would not give his consent to waive debate over Grenell’s nomination, forcing longer consideration of Trump’s high-profile diplomatic pick.

Ultimately, Murphy and other Democrats can slow down, but not stop, the final portion of the appointment process, absent some Republicans joining their opposition.

Following the initial publication of this story, Murphy’s office revised their position to say that no final decision had been made as to whether to force 30 additional hours of debate over Grenell’s nomination. But it is the reason why he is considering holding up the nomination in the first place that is particularly telling. Murphy’s spokesman said the senator “cannot support his nomination because his history of his insulting and derogatory remarks about women.”

Murphy raised his concern about Grenell’s remarks about women on Twitter during the nominee’s confirmation hearing on Oct. 26. Grenell addressed the tweets, which commented on the appearances of women such as Hillary Clinton and Rachel Maddow, during the hearing. The tweets have since been deleted.

“Anybody who knows me knows that I am a very caring person and very sensitive—and I also appreciate good humor,” Grenell said. “Unfortunately, there are times where what was intended to be humorous turned out to be not so humorous, and, again, that was never my intention and I regret that.”

Grenell, who would be the first openly gay appointee in the Trump administration, declined to comment further. The vote on his confirmation has yet to be put on the Senate calendar.

The Trump administration has repeatedly criticized Democrats for slowing down its nominees, as many important diplomatic posts remain open.

Grenell, a Republican strategist, served as a spokesman to the United Nations during President George W. Bush’s administration and as an aide to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) during his 2000 presidential campaign.