Pompeo rejected request for interview from inspector general on Saudi arms sales

Pompeo rejected request for interview from inspector general on Saudi arms sales”

To the extent that reality matters, Pompeo is under fire because he directed the president to fire the State Department's independent watchdog - former Inspector General Steve Linick - while the Republican cabinet secretary was facing an investigation from the watchdog's office.

"I have learned that there may be another reason for Mr. Linick's firing", Engel said.

The terms of Linick's exit remain contentious. Trump notified Congress on Friday of the layoff, beginning a 30-day review period on the president's action as Linick prepares to leave.

The secretary of state said Mr Linick was sacked for "undermining" the state department, though he did not give further details.

Mr Linick, a former prosecutor, was appointed by Mr Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, to oversee spending and detect mismanagement at the state department.

Trump promptly fired Linick, adding that he had never met him, but completely trusted Pompeo. "I'm not briefed on it", he said.

Democrats in Congress are investigating Mr Linick's firing.

Trump said he believes inspectors general appointed by his predecessor should "generally" be replaced throughout the government.

A key U.S. Democratic lawmaker suggested Monday that President Donald Trump may have abruptly fired the internal State Department watchdog last week at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's behest because he was nearing completion of a probe into Pompeo's controversial fast-tracking of arms sales previous year to Saudi Arabia.

The arms transfer had been blocked by a bipartisan majority of lawmakers, who opposed the Saudi-led coalition's killing of civilians in Yemen.

"As a long-time, strong supporter of our inspectors generals, I am concerned about the president's firing of IGs as well as the appointment of a political appointee from within the Department of Transportation to be the acting IG in that department".

But there are a variety of other potential triggers.

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Trump also said on Monday that he didn't "know anything about" investigations into Pompeo, looking to dismiss the probe's gravity in comparing it to the nation's recovery efforts.

"So, I was very disappointed to hear this news".

In the wake of the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi ― who the American intelligence community says was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Turkey under orders by the Saudi kingdom ― Congress passed a series of measures on a bipartisan basis aimed at curbing US support for Riyadh's involvement in Yemen's civil war.

Another well-connected official Linick took aim at was Brian Hook, the special envoy for Iran, who maintains good relations with Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and adviser. On Monday, Engel disclosed Linick's probe into the Saudi arms sales. And you know what? "The President has not provided the kind of justification for the removal of IG Linick required by this law".

"But the fact is", she said, "if it looks like it's in retaliation for something the inspector general is doing that could be unlawful".

"I think we've been treated very unfairly by inspector generals", Trump said.

The letter asks the administration to preserve all records related to the firing.

"It doesn't touch most people directly". You know, what are you telling me?

Trump refrained from commenting on the Saudi Arabia deal, but made some remarks on the allegation that Pompeo was using his staff for private chores.

"Do you mean that he is under investigation because he had someone walk his dog from the government?" Trump stated ofPompeo "I don't know, doesn't sound, I don't think it sounds like that important". "Maybe he's negotiating with Kim Jong Un, okay, about nuclear weapons". So that he'd say, 'Please, could you walk my dog? According to NBC, these errands included walking the couple's dog, making dinner reservations and picking up dry cleaning.

"I have the absolute right as President to terminate".

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