Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a Monday interview with The Washington Post said he did not know a fired inspector general was investigating his own conduct, and that he’d recommended the firing because he believed the State Department IG was “undermining” the work of the agency.
Pompeo told the Post he recommended Inspector General Steve Linick’s firing because he believed the independent watchdog was not acting in a way that the secretary felt made the State Department better.
“I went to the president and made clear to him that Inspector General Linick wasn’t performing a function in a way that we had tried to get him to, that was additive for the State Department, very consistent with what the statute says he’s supposed to be doing,” Pompeo said in a phone interview with The Post. “The kinds of activities he’s supposed to undertake to make us better, to improve us.”
The remarks represent Pompeo’s first public acknowledgement that he pressed President Trump to fire Linnick, but the secretary did not offer any examples or evidence supporting his criticisms against Linick. Trump announced the dismissal on Friday evening.
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