By Jon Dougherty

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell appeared on Fox News with Martha McCallum last week to hit back at South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s attacks on Vice President Mike Pence over claims that the former governor — who is devout about his Christianity — is a homophobic hater.

Buttigieg, who announced his bid for the crowded Democratic presidential primary in recent days, has launched broadsides against the VEEP, claiming his past policies as governor of Indiana and his current position as the second most powerful man in the world stirs an anti-gay backlash.

But Grenell, who says he’s been friends with Pence for years, dating back to when the veep was a U.S. congressman, stepped up to defend him during an interview with McCallum, calling Buttigieg’s attacks a “hate hoax along the lines of Jussie Smollett.”

“Mayor Pete has been pushing this hate hoax along the lines of Jussie Smollett for a very long time now, several weeks, and I find it really ironic that Mayor Pete stayed silent about this so-called hate hoax on him and others during 2015, 2016, 2017 when Mike Pence was governor,” Grenell said.

“There was total silence. It’s ironic that right about now when he’s starting his fundraising apparatus to run for president that he comes up with this idea and this attack,” Grenell added.

“One of the things that really bothers me about this attack is that Mike Pence is a friend of mine. Mike and Karen are great people. They are godly people. They’re followers of Christ. They don’t have hate in their heart for anyone,” Grenell added.

“They know my partner, they have accepted us. You ask me do we agree philosophically on every single issue? No,” Grenelle continued.

Others have dug into Pence’s past to see if there is any truth to Buttigieg’s claims, including The Daily Wire‘s editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro, who found that “there is no evidence that Pence has ever said an unkind word about or done an unkind thing to Buttigieg.”

In fact, Shapiro noted that Buttigieg’s recent book did not include any negative references about the veep and that he responded to Buttigieg coming out of the closet as a gay man in 2015 by saying, “I hold Mayor Buttigieg in the highest personal regard. I see him as a dedicated public servant and a patriot.”

Buttigieg served as a U.S. Navy intelligence officer in Iraq.

Meanwhile, the far-Left gay lobby stepped up to trash…Grenell.

“A sitting ambassador shouldn’t be going on TV to attack a Presidential candidate,” the organization tweeted at Grenell.

Translation: It’s okay for Buttigieg to criticize the VP, but not for Buttigieg himself to be scrutinized, because, you know, he’s a Democrat.

Grenell wasn’t having any of this hypocrisy. He fired back:

The VP himself stepped up as well, responding to Buttigieg’s attacks during a recent interview on CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” saying, “He said some things that are critical of my Christian faith and about me personally. And he knows better. He knows me.”

“But I get it,” Pence explained. “You know, it’s—look, again, 19 people running for president on that side in a party that’s sliding off to the left. And they’re all competing with one another for how much more liberal they can be.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if Democrats had something in their political arsenal other than cries of racism, bigotry, and homophobia? Whatever happened to debating ideas?

  • Watch: Is the Mainstream media now OPENLY calling for violence against white conservatives?

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