Controversial US Ambassador Bids "Tremendous" Farewell To Iceland In Deleted Posts

Controversial US Ambassador Bids “Tremendous” Farewell To Iceland In Deleted Posts

Published January 21, 2021

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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In posts that have since seem to have been deleted from Facebook, now-former US Ambassador to Iceland Jeffrey Ross Gunter bid farewell to Iceland, and posted a lengthy document listing his many alleged accomplishments.

“It was a tremendous honour to serve as the US Ambassador to the Republic of Iceland,” he wrote with a video farewell post on the US Embassy in Reykjavík Facebook. “I am forever grateful to & proud of the tremendous team US Embassy Reykjavík Iceland & all that we have accomplished for #America & #Iceland. Thank you President Trump for this tremendous opportunity!”

In a separate post on the same page, Gunter also highlighted the many “accomplishments” of himself and US Embassy staff during his tenure. This included a link to a 22-page PDF file listing some 122 such accomplishments.

Both posts seem to be no longer available on the US Embassy in Reykjavík Facebook page. However, a “thank you note to the Icelandic people” video is on the official US Ambassador Twitter account, the transcript of which can be read on the official site of the US Embassy.

Jeffrey Ross Gunter has not exactly been a popular ambassador with the American community in Iceland. His calling the coronavirus “the Invisible China Virus” drew sharp criticism from Icelanders and Americans in Iceland alike, leading to calls for his dismissal.

Further reporting from CBS News disclosed last July that the ambassador also requested he be allowed to carry a gun, received “door-to-door armoured car service”, and had been posting ads in Icelandic newspapers for bodyguards.

Furthermore, current and former diplomats familiar with the situation told CBS News that he created an “untenable” work environment at the embassy, and left the embassy in the hands of a temporary Deputy Chief of Mission for months—from February to May 2020—while he remained in the US. CBS sources allege Gunter wanted to continue his job remotely from California, and did not return until he was “expressly ordered to do so by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo”.

Who the next US Ambassador to Iceland will be has yet to be determined, but will be appointed by US President Joe Biden, pending US Senate approval.

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