Speed Reads

blind advice

Trump says he 'never heard' of ousted IG but agreed to fire him after learning Obama appointed him

President Trump on Monday explained his decision to fire State Department Inspector General Steve Linick last week, despite the fact that he apparently had "never heard of him" before the dismissal.

Trump explained that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as was reported over the weekend, recommended the move, but the president was even more convinced it was the right thing to do upon learning that his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, appointed Linick to the post in 2013. Trump, you might have noticed, has made his distaste for Obama's presidency even more well-known these last few weeks.

Pompeo also commented on Linick's firing Monday after Democrats speculated whether he wanted the federal watchdog out of the picture as a result of a couple of different investigations. But Pompeo claimed there was no way the act was retaliatory because he had no clue Linick was even conducting the probes. "I'm not briefed on it," he said. "I usually see these investigations in final draft form 24 hours, 48 hours before the IG is prepared to release them."

Instead, Pompeo said Linick wasn't performing his job as well as the department expected him to.