Trump Blasts Atkinson at Daily Press Briefing, Says He ‘Did a Terrible Job’ and is a ‘Disgrace to IGs’

At the White House Daily Press Briefing today, President Trump was asked about last night’s firing of ICIG Michael Atkinson. He said that he thought that Atkinson did a “terrible job” and that he was a “disgrace to IGs.” He wondered where the whistleblower is after the report was unclassified and he felt like the nation should be able to see who the accuser is given the magnitude of the situation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disagreed with the firing, saying, “The late-night firing of Inspector General Atkinson is a brazen act against a patriotic public servant who has honorably performed his duty to protect the Constitution and our national security, as required by the law and by his oath.”

Atkinson’s nomination had been delayed for six months and there was a lot of pressure put on him. Atkinson told senators at a hearing that he agrees with many on the Senate Intelligence Committee that “the IC IG needs to get its own house in order.”

The firing of his predecessor, Dan Meyer, drew the attention of lawmakers and whistleblower advocacy nonprofits concerned that his dismissal will harm whistleblower rights in the highly secretive atmosphere of the national security space.

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