Trump says Pompeo requested he fire State Department inspector general
By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday defended his decision to fire the State Department's inspector general, saying Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked him to do so and dismissing suggestions that Pompeo faced a probe by the ousted official. Democratic lawmakers said on Monday Trump might have fired the watchdog, Steve Linick, because he was investigating U.S.
By Jeff Mason and Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday defended his decision to fire the State Department's inspector general, saying Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked him to do so and dismissing suggestions that Pompeo faced a probe by the ousted official.
Democratic lawmakers said on Monday Trump might have fired the watchdog, Steve Linick, because he was investigating U.S. military sales to Saudi Arabia. Congressional aides have also said Linick was probing whether Pompeo misused a taxpayer-funded political appointee to perform personal tasks for himself and his wife, such as walking their dog.
The president, a Republican, told reporters he did not know Linick and heaped praise on Pompeo, who has become one of Trump's most trusted cabinet members.
"You mean he's under investigation because he had somebody walk his dog from the government?" Trump said with incredulity when told by a reporter about the accusations against Pompeo.
"I didn't know about an investigation. But this is what you get with the Democrats. Here's a man supposed to be negotiating war and peace with major, major countries ... and the Democrats and the fake news media, they're interested in a man who's walking their dog. And maybe he's busy and maybe he's negotiating with Kim Jong Un," Trump said, referring to the North Korean leader.
Trump said he would prefer his secretary of state to focus on his job rather than menial tasks.
"I'd rather have him on the phone with some world leader than have him wash dishes, because maybe his wife isn't there, or his kids," Trump said about the top U.S. diplomat. "It's terrible. It's so stupid. You know how stupid that sounds to the world? Unbelievable."
(Reporting by Jeff Mason, Steve Holland and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Richard Chang)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
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