Secretary of State Mike Pompeo privately called for now-former State Department Inspector General Steve Linick’s ouster while the watchdog was in the middle of investigating Pompeo’s potential misuse of an office staffer, according to multiple reports.
Congressional aides told NBC News, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and CNN that Linick had been investigating Pompeo allegedly ordering a political appointee to run personal errands for himself and his wife, including dry cleaning pickups, making dinner reservations for the couple, and even walking their dog.
President Donald Trump suddenly fired Linick on Friday with no prior warning to Congress, saying only that the official “no longer” had his “fullest confidence” in a letter to lawmakers. The controversial ouster is part of a growing trend of Trump removing independent watchdogs over the past several months.
An unnamed White House official told NBC News that Pompeo had “recommended” Linick’s removal, to which Trump “agreed.”