Trump Takes Aim At Sen. Collins While Ranting About ‘Whistleblower Racket’

President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing of the White House Coronavirus Task Force on April 10, 2020. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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May 18, 2020 7:59 a.m.

President Donald Trump singled out Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) while throwing a fit via Twitter on Sunday night after CBS aired a “60 Minutes” interview with Health and Human Services whistleblower Dr. Rick Bright.

“This whole Whistleblower racket needs to be looked at very closely, it is causing great injustice & harm,” Trump tweeted. “I hope you are listening @SenSusanCollins.”

It’s unclear exactly why the President targeted Collins. However, the Maine senator (who is up for reelection this year) may have drawn his ire when she criticized him on Saturday night for abruptly firing State Department Inspector General Steve Linick.

In a series of tweets, Collins defended Linick’s role as inspector general and laid out how his sudden ouster was potentially in violation of the Inspector General Reform Act.

“The President has not provided the kind of justification for the removal of IG Linick required by this law,” the GOP lawmaker tweeted.

Trump fired Linick on Friday and offered little explanation to Congress for the removal, marking the fourth time within the past two months that the President had targeted an independent agency watchdog. Inspectors general Michael Atkinson for the intelligence community, Glenn Fine at the Pentagon, and Christine Grimm at the HHS have all been removed.

Bright, who was removed from his directing position at the Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority (BARDA), has filed a complaint for whistleblower retaliation for refusing to boost hydroxychloroquine, the antimalarial drug Trump and his allies have claimed to be a cure for COVID-19 without hard scientific evidence.

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