10 things you need to know today: May 17, 2020

Pompeo reportedly advised firing State Department watchdog, Obama criticizes 'folks in charge' for coronavirus response during commencement speech, and more

Mike Pompeo.
(Image credit: ANDREW HARNIK/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

1. Pompeo reportedly advised firing State Department watchdog

President Trump's decision to fire State Department Inspector General Steve Linick on Friday came on the advice of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a White House official said Saturday. Democrats consider the ouster a retaliatory act; Linick was reportedly looking into Pompeo's alleged misuse of a department appointee to perform personal tasks for him and his wife. Trump said he no longer had confidence in Linick, an Obama appointee, but Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said Saturday that Congress is entitled to a more thorough explanation, noting that inspectors general play a "crucial" role in the governance of the United States. His Democratic colleagues, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), sent letters to the White House demanding officials hand over all records related to Linick's firing.

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