Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed on Monday he was not aware that the state department’s inspector general was investigating allegations that he was ordering a staffer to do personal errands before he asked President Trump to fire him. Pompeo told The Washington Post that he urged the president to remove Steve Linick because he was “undermining” the state department’s work. The secretary of state insisted that his recommendation to remove Linick had nothing to do with the alleged investigation, claiming that he did not know about it beforehand.
“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, very consistent with what the statute says he’s supposed to be doing,” Pompeo told the Post. He added that it’s “not possible” that his recommendation “was based on any effort to retaliate for any investigation that was going on, or is currently going on,” saying that he is not briefed on watchdog investigations until the last minute. Linick had reportedly launched an investigation into Pompeo on allegations that he was soliciting a government employee to walk his dog, pick up his dry cleaning, and make dinner reservations for him and his wife, among other errands.