Former Trump official was 'duped' into thanking a war criminal on Veterans Day

  • Richard Grenell, the former acting Director of National Intelligence, was "duped" by a political correspondent.
  • Ken Klippenstein, a correspondent for The Nation, asked Grenell for a shout-out for his grandfather on Twitter and misleadingly attached a photo of Bill Calley.
  • Calley is a convicted war criminal.
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Richard Grenell, the former acting Director of National Intelligence in the Trump administration, was "duped" after a correspondent from a left-leaning magazine fooled him into thanking a convicted war criminal for his service in the US Army.

Ken Klippenstein, a correspondent for The Nation, in a tweet attached a photo of Bill Calley and misleadingly suggested it was his grandfather.

Calley was convicted of killing at least 22 unarmed people in the My Lai Massacre in 1968, during the Vietnam War. The Army officer was sentenced to life in prison, but after a new trial served just three years in house arrest.

Klippenstein, who is most known for his time spent online and his proficiency in submitting Freedom of Information Act requests to federal agencies, said in his tweet that his grandfather was a "huge fan" and that it would "make his day" if Grenell would give him a shout-out.

According to a screenshot of Klippenstein's direct-messages, Grenell asked him what his grandfather's name was, to which the correspondent replied by providing Calley's name.

Four minutes later, Grenell said in a tweet: "Thank you for your service, Bill Calley!"

Klippenstein also appeared to have sent the same message to former CIA director Michael Hayden, an official during George W. Bush and Barack Obama's tenure. Hayden tweeted that he received the same message and that he knew "exactly what was happening."

"Grenell surely didn't," Hayden said. "He's an asshole. Again and again."

Hayden, who is an outspoken critic of the Trump administration, asked Klippenstein what he did to deserve the online trolling.

Klippenstein replied by saying he "had to uphold the spirit of bipartisanship."

Grenell admitted he was "duped," but that in light of Veteran Day on Wednesday Klippenstein's joke was done in poor taste.

"Duped. Trying to be helpful to people who reach out on Veteran's Day," Grenell tweeted. "It's a shame people would do this on a day like today. DC is a sick city."

Grenell served in the Trump administration as the US ambassador to Germany before being tapped as acting DNI, replacing his predecessor, acting director Joseph Maguire. Grenell was replaced with Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe, another staunch loyalist. 

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