Trump fires state department official, Democrats branded as ‘retaliation’

Trump fires state department inspector general
Steve Linick has become the latest senior official to be fired by Trump. Source: EPA
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Daily US Times: President Donald Trump has fired the US state department’s inspector general Steve Linick. He has become the latest senior official to be fired by Trump. Critics view the President’s decision as ‘retaliation’.

President Trump said Mr Linick no longer had his full confidence and that he would be removed in 30 days.

Reports say that Mr Linick started investigating Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for suspected abuse of office.

Democrats say Mr Trump is retaliating against officials who want to hold his administration to account.

“It is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general. That is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general,” Mr Trump said in a letter sent House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday.

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said that Mr Linick had opened an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He said this not long after Mr Lincks dismissal was announced.

Eliot Engel, a Democrat, said in a statement: “This firing is the outrageous act of a president trying to protect one of his most loyal supporters, the secretary of state, from accountability.”

He adds: “I have learned that the Office of the Inspector General had opened an investigation into Secretary Pompeo. Mr Linick’s firing amid such a probe strongly suggests that this is an unlawful act of retaliation.”

Mr Engel did not provide any further details about the content of this investigation into Mr Pompeo.

Nn condition of anonymity, Congressional aides have been quoted in different media as saying that Mr Linick was examining complaints that Mr Pompeo may have improperly used staff and asked them to perform personal tasks.

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


Trump’s firing has met bold criticism from the Democrats. One of the leading Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Mr Linick was “punished for honourably performing his duty to protect the constitution and our national security”.

She said in a statement: ”The president must cease his pattern of reprisal and retaliation against the public servants who are working to keep Americans safe, particularly during this time of global emergency.”

The Democratic senator from Connecticut, Chris Murphy said the Senate Foreign Relations Committee needed to learn more about the dismissal.

This is the latest in a series of dismissals of independent government watchdogs. Mr Trump dismissed Michael Atkinson last month, the inspector general of the intelligence community.

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