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Pompeo denies inspector general fired as payback for investigation

Pompeo denies inspector general fired as payback for investigation”

The probe's findings were released last fall, which is when Bulatao said the department became particularly frustrated with leaks about IG investigations, in particular a Daily Beast report in September focusing on Hook that cited "two government sources involved in carrying out the investigation".

It emerged on Monday he was also scrutinising a Trump administration Saudi arms deal.

"As is the case with regard to other positions where I, as President, have the power of appointment, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, it is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as Inspectors General".

Pompeo also declined to comment on the substance of what Linick was investigating: "I'm not going to answer the host of unsubstantiated allegations about any of that". "I'm not briefed on it", he said. "If Linick found out the reason, then Congress needs to know".

U.S. President Donald Trump's firing of the State Department's top internal watchdog "could be unlawful" if it was meant to retaliate against one of his investigations, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday.

On Monday, Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a letter to Trump that his explanation of the firing is "not sufficient" to fulfill the Inspector Geberal Reform Act, a law that enshrines the rights of internal investigators.

"Maybe he thinks he's being treated unfairly", Trump said of Pompeo.

Trump's ousting of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick-reportedly at the behest of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo-makes Linick the latest victim of Trump's inspector general purge. Pompeo has denied wrongdoing.

"It is not possible that this decision, or my recommendation rather, to the president rather, was based on any effort to retaliate for any investigation that was going on, or is now going on", he told the Post.

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Some Republicans in Congress have rushed to defend Mr Trump's decision to oust Mr Linick. "I don't know anything about the investigation but you're just telling me about walking a dog", he said. "It's bad. It's so stupid". You know how stupid that sounds to the world?

"I don't know the gentleman", Trump said of Linick.

"His office was investigating - at my request - Trump's phoney declaration of an emergency so he could send weapons to Saudi Arabia", said Engel, D-N.Y. "We don't have the full picture yet, but it's troubling that Sec Pompeo wanted Linick pushed out".

Trump infuriated many members of Congress last May, including some Republicans, by declaring a national emergency related to tensions with Iran to sidestep congressional review and push ahead with $8 billion in military sales, mostly to Saudi Arabia.

"I am deeply concerned that my understanding is that the Inspector General may very well have been on the verge of completing an investigation into emergency justifications for arm sales to Saudi Arabia", Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. The U.S. said at the time the weapons were needed to deter what it called "the malign influence" of Iran throughout the Middle East.

He said the arms shipments "must occur as quickly as possible in order to deter further Iranian adventurism in the Gulf and throughout the Middle East".

In April, Trump removed a top coronavirus watchdog, Glenn Fine, who was to oversee the government's financial relief response to the pandemic.

"The firings of multiple Inspectors General is unprecedented; doing so without good cause chills the independence essential to their goal", Romney said in a Saturday night tweet.



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