Ambassador Ric Grenell, upon becoming a senior fellow at the Institute for Politics and Strategy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, said Saturday on Newsmax TV that the invitation was met with protests from students and faculty members who wanted to "try to cancel me" and even death threats from two students.
"They had an attempt to try to cancel me from some students and shockingly from some faculty and staff who don't want to have an alternative voice," Grenell said on Newsmax TV's "America Right Now."
Grenell, who served as President Donald Trump's acting director of national intelligence and as an ambassador to Germany, was targeted through social media by the two female students one of whom suggested killing him and the other offering her help, reports The Washington Examiner. Both tweets have been taken down, and campus and local police said the women did not have any weapons.
Grenell told Newsmax TV the threats came after "phony information, fake information, and gossip information" was pushed by people "pretending that I'm some sort of right-winger that supports white supremacy."
Part of the issue is that members of the schools' faculty were "feeding students" and there were some students who were "getting just mob culture mentality where they're racing toward phony information," he added.
He said he is glad the university jumped in quickly, but at the same time, "this is the type of mob cancel culture, what happens at the end of it, if you don't control it."
Kiron Skinner, the director for the Institute for Politics and Strategy, said in a statement that IPS is one of the diverse academic departments at Carnegie Mellon University and has numerous people of color on its faculty in Pittsburgh and in Washington, D.C.
Skinner said she invited Grenell, in the spirit of intellectual freedom, to become a senior fellow.
"As the nation's first openly gay member of a president's Cabinet, a political conservative, a Christian, and a ten-year veteran of the State Department, Ambassador Grenell brings a unique perspective to the practice of US diplomacy and politics," said Skinner.
She noted she served with Grenell at the State Department and found him to be "personally and professionally generous and respectful of varying opinions."
Grenell will not be teaching classes as a fellow but will engage with the CMU community in several forums "designed to increase our understanding of the new Europe, international relations more broadly, and the US-led diplomatic effort to decriminalize homosexuality throughout the world," said Skinner, a Taube Professor of International Relations and Politics.
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