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Trump Considered Firing Intelligence Inspector General After He Reported Whistleblower Complaint to Congress

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Trump Considered Firing Intelligence Inspector General After He Reported Whistleblower Complaint to Congress

2019-11-13 09:14:48

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Donald Trump (Image source: Screenshot)

It would be one thing if Donald Trump would be accused of things and didn’t cop to them but learned from his mistakes. However, he keeps denying he is participating in this type of behavior, then just does the same thing again.

He was accused of working with Russia to interfere with the 2016 election to create a favorable situation for himself by acquiring evidence on his opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And now he’s been accused of trying to acquire evidence on 2020 Democratic candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. 

To compound that, he was investigated for obstruction of justice, with one of the 10 instances being when he asked former White House counsel Don McGahn to fire then-special counsel Robert Mueller.

He should have learned with that that you just can’t fire someone because they endanger your livelihood. Yet, people familiar with the discussions told The New York Times that he considered firing the intelligence community’s inspector general, Michael Atkinson because he gave the whistleblower’s complaint to Congress, and that touched off the impeachment inquiry. Trump has even considered firing him more recently, as he just doesn’t understand why he shared the complaint. 

The whistleblower’s complaint discussed a phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. It spelled out how Trump asked Zelensky to conduct investigations of Trump’s opponents in exchange for military aid and a White House visit.

It’s not known how far the idea of firing Atkinson got, as some sources said they thought Trump was only venting and not really serious about firing Atkinson, while Trump also attacked the inspector general on Twitter and suggested that he should have to testify in the impeachment inquiry next to the whistleblower. 

And again, this isn’t the first time he has tried to remove someone for not siding with him. Former national security adviser John Bolton was removed from office for disagreeing with him about the shadow Ukraine policy, former FBI director James Comey was removed for not ending the Russia investigation, touching off the special counsel investigation, and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was fired after months and months of attacks that were kicked off by him recusing himself from the Russia investigation.

Initially, Atkinson reported the whistleblower complaint to Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, who in turn refused to give it to Congress. He did allow Atkinson to let Congress know it existed, and eventually, Maguire handed it over, and it was made public toward the end of September. 

Maguire’s attorneys and the Justice Department contend that with the president not being part of the intelligence community, Atkinson didn’t have the authority to send the report.

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