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State Department IG becomes latest federal watchdog fired by Trump

Another federal watchdog is out the door.

President Trump fired State Department Inspector General Steve Linick late Friday evening, saying the 2013 Obama appointee "no longer" had his "fullest confidence." Linick's ouster quickly drew criticism from several Democrats like House Foreign Affairs Committee Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), who called it "an unlawful act of retaliation." Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) also had some harsh words.

A Democratic aide said Linick was looking into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's alleged misuse of a political appointee to perform personal tasks for him and his wife.

Trump has removed several watchdogs in recent months, including Health and Human Services Inspector General Christi Grimm, who issued a report on the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus pandemic, and the intelligence community's inspector general, Michael Atkinson, who handled the whistleblower report that led to Trump's impeachment earlier this year. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the firings represent a "dangerous pattern."

Ambassador Stephen Akard, the director of the Office of Foreign Missions who is considered an ally of Vice President Mike Pence, will step into Linick's role. Read more at The Washington Post and Politico.