TPP? What TPP? Groser thrills over end of 'PC culture' at embassy party
Call him pragmatic. New
gossip details about the New Zealand Embassy's Inauguration Gala in Washington DC suggest Tim Groser has quickly moved on from the death of the TPP.
The Washingtonian reports
It didn’t matter that Groser had helped craft the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the trade agreement from which Trump withdrew. It didn’t matter that Groser has spent much of his career promoting other trade policies antithetical to Trumpism. Disagreements be damned, what mattered now was access.
Groser was unabashed: he regaled the crowd with the story of how he first snagged Trump’s cell phone number (he knew a guy who knew a guy), and professed his own thrill about the end of "PC" culture.
An Associated Press story suggests the special access is more a case of "hired a guy who knew a guy."
"Trump's former campaign national field director, Stuart Jolly, signed on as president of Sonoran Policy Group and has already helped connect the firm's clients, including the New Zealand embassy, with new administration," AP says.
As well as delivering the new president's coveted cellphone number, Mr Jolly helped snare a pretty impressive guest list that included Steve Bannon (Mr Trump's chief strategist and arguably his most influential advisor), actor Jon Voight (who introduced the inauguration concert), Trump campaign chairman Michael Glassner and new White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
NBR is guessing the "openly star-struck" Mr Groser didn't highlight that he converted to Islam ahead of his marriage to his (now ex) Indonesian wife in 1996.