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President Donald Trump said Secretary of State Michael Pompeo asked him to fire the State Department’s inspector general, Steve Linick.
“I don’t know the gentleman,” Trump said Monday at the White House during a meeting with restaurateurs at the White House. “I was happy to do it. Mike requested that I do it.”
Trump notified Congress on Friday that he would fire Linick, saying he had lost confidence in the official. Linick was appointed to the job by Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel said earlier Monday that Linick was investigating an emergency declaration Trump issued last year in order to hasten U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia as it wages war against rebels in Yemen. A congressional official has said Linick was also investigating whether Pompeo directed an aide to perform personal errands, including walking his dog.
The firing has drawn outrage from congressional Democrats who were already concerned about Trump’s removal or replacement of other inspectors general. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote Trump on Monday to ask him for a “detailed and substantial justification” for Linick’s removal within the 30 days before his dismissal will take effect.
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In This Story: Donald Trump
This story features US President Donald Trump. Donald John Trump is the 45th and current president of the United States. Before entering politics, he was a businessman and television personality. See more Donald Trump news here.