Welp, congressional Democrats investigating why Donald Trump fired the State Department watchdog just got a whopper of a lead from the man who originally said he let the inspector general go because he had lost confidence in him.
Asked why he thought Steve Linick needed to be removed, Trump offered a blunt response that surely left Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dry heaving.
UPDATE: CNN is reporting that Sec. Pompeo refused to cooperate with the newly fired State Department IG’s probe of the $8 billion arms sale to the Saudis.
"I don't know. I don't know anything about him. I don't know," Trump said of Linick, "other than the State Department and Mike, in particular, I guess they weren't happy with the job he's doing or something."
Oh. So Pompeo made him do it. Okay. And just to be crystal clear: "Mike requested that I do it." Righto. Got it.
That is super interesting, since Pompeo just told The Washington Post he didn't know the inspector general had opened a probe into him. In an interview with the Post, Pompeo admitted he had been involved in the decision but couldn't provide any specific concerns he had about the job Linick was doing. In fact, it rather sounded like Pompeo simply didn't think Linick was taking the marching orders he was being given.
“I went to the president and made clear to him that Inspector General Linick wasn’t performing a function in a way that we had tried to get him to, that was additive for the State Department,” Pompeo explained.
Hmm... in a way that we had tried to get him to.
But when reporters asked Trump why Pompeo wanted Linick axed, he offered, "Maybe [Pompeo] thinks he's being treated unfairly."
As for all the personal errands Pompeo was reportedly having government appointees run for him, Trump didn't see any problem with a little illegal grifting of American taxpayers.
"I don't think it's that important," Trump said of Pompeo. "They're bothered because he had somebody walk his dog? This country has a long way to go. The priorities are really screwed up."
Trump sounds as mentally addled as ever.