Gov. Phil Murphy isn’t thrilled with President Donald Trump’s pick for his old job.
“I don’t know the person, but I don’t like what I’ve heard,” Murphy said of retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor, Trump’s pick for U.S. Ambassador to Germany. “And that includes, I have to say, from two very senior retired members of our military, two extraordinary leaders.”
Macgregor has come under fire for a series of racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic statements that led the Anti-Defamation League, American Jewish Committee and a host of others to call for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to withdraw the colonel’s nomination.
Murphy served as ambassador to Germany between 2009 and 2013.
“It’s not pretty,” Murphy said of the nominee’s past. “So again, I don’t know the person. I’m told he’s a fluent German speaker, which is a good thing, but between anti-Semitic comments, the sort of rush to judgement in his role way back when pre-Iraq War, the data points are not comforting, and beyond that I don’t have much to add.”
Though he has since called wars in Iraq and Afghanistan failures, Macgregor forcefully advocated for U.S. military action in Iraq at the time.
The colonel has also faced criticism for statements encouraging the Department of Homeland Security and its border agencies to use lethal force against undocumented immigrants crossing the country’s southwest border illegally.
He has also called Muslim immigrants in Germany “invaders” and said the U.S.-led NATO intervention in Kosovo in the 1990s “put, essentially, a Muslim drug mafia in charge of that country.”