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Fired intelligence official was a disgrace: Trump

President links move to impeachment

U.S. President Donald Trump suggested that he fired the Inspector General for the intelligence community in retaliation for impeachment, saying the official was wrong to provide an anonymous whistleblower complaint to Congress as the law requires.

Mr. Trump called Michael Atkinson a “disgrace” after informing Congress late on Friday night that he intended to fire him. In letters to the House and Senate intelligence committees, Mr. Trump wrote that he had lost confidence in Mr. Atkinson but gave little detail.

A day later, Mr. Trump was more blunt, telling reporters at the White House: “I thought he did a terrible job, absolutely terrible.”

The whistleblower report was a detailed complaint written by an anonymous intelligence official who described Mr. Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democrat Joe Biden and his son. Mr. Atkinson determined the complaint was urgent and credible and therefore was required by law to disclose it to Congress, but he was overruled for weeks by the acting Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire.

On Saturday, Mr. Trump questioned why Mr. Atkinson didn’t speak to him about the complaint, though Mr. Atkinson’s role is to provide independent oversight. “Never came in to see me, never requested to see me,” Mr. Trump said. He added: “That man is a disgrace to IGs.”

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 11:54:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/fired-intelligence-official-was-a-disgrace-trump/article31265010.ece

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