Pompeo says he has asked for the inspector general to be fired

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Trump fires State Department Inspector General Linick

“I went to the President and made it clear to him that Inspector General Linick was not performing a function in a way we had tried to do it, which was additive to the State Department, very consistent with what the statute says it is supposed to do. “he said in an interview with Swiss Post. “The kind of business it should undertake to make us better, to improve us.”

He did not go into details of what particularly displeased him about Linick’s work performance.

Pompeo, in his first public comments on the matter, claimed that he was unaware that Linick was investigating him when he recommended removing the IG. According to Swiss Post, it only knew of one case “which concerned a national security issue”.

“It is not possible that this decision, or my recommendation, rather, to the President, rather, was based on any retaliatory effort for any ongoing or ongoing investigation,” said Pompeo. “Because I simply don’t know. I’m not informed. Usually I see these investigations in the final draft 24 hours, 48 ​​hours, before the IG is ready to release them.”

“So it’s simply not possible that this is an act of retaliation. End of story,” he said.

State Secretary of State Brian Bulatao also suggested to the post office that losses from the inspector general’s office played a role in Linick’s removal, but said they had no evidence that the ousted IG was personally involved in the losses.

The inspector general’s office serves as an independent watchdog of the state department. One of its core values ​​is “integrity” – “We maintain our independence and act with courage, honesty and professionalism. Our work is fact-based, objective and supported by sufficient evidence that meets professional standards,” says website.

Trump informed Congress Friday of his intention to fire Linick. A senior State Department official told CNN that Pompeo had made the recommendation.

House foreign affairs president Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat, said on Monday that the ousted IG has almost finished an investigation into Pompey’s decision to expedite the sale of $ 8 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia. .

Later on Monday, a congressional assistant confirmed that Pompeo had refused to support an interview with the inspector general’s office as part of this investigation.

A Democratic aide told CNN this weekend that the IG had also investigated whether Pompeo had a staff run a variety of personal errands, including taking his dog for a walk.

Pompeo would not answer questions relating to whether he asked government employees to run errands for him, saying to the Post: “I will not answer the guest of unsubstantiated allegations about it.”

CNN’s Zachary Cohen contributed to this report.

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