Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained the decision to terminate the State Department Inspector General in an interview with FOX News host Laura Ingraham on Thursday.
INGRAHAM: The firing of the Department Inspector General; this was Speaker Pelosi’s reaction. Watch.
PELOSI: When they come close to looking at behavior that might cause them some unease, they fire them. And Secretary Pompeo said he should have fired him a long time ago because he wasn’t acting in the manner in which he wanted him to act. What did that mean? To turn a blank eye to wrongdoing? What is it that they are afraid of?
INGRAHAM: Secretary Pompeo, was the I.G. fired for investigating you, your dealings with the staff running errands, the Saudi arms deal? Can you go into any detail about why he was let go tonight?
POMPEO: I can’t. And I said it earlier. I regret that I didn’t recommend to the president earlier that he be terminated. He was acting in a way that was deeply inconsistent with what the State Department was trying to do. His office was leaking information. We tried to get him to be part of a team that was going to help protect his own officers from COVID-19. He refused to be an active participant. He was investigating policies he simply didn’t like. That’s not the role of an Inspector General.
This didn’t have anything to do with retaliation. This was about an I.G. who was attempting to undermine the mission of the United States Department of State; that’s unacceptable. And so I recommended the president he terminate Steve Linick.