President Donald Trump is swinging a “wrecking ball” against oversight of his administration, according to government watchdogs.
In the last week, the president fired an inspector general tied to impeachment, attacked another for criticizing his coronavirus response and sidelined a third who was tasked with overseeing how his administration doled out trillions in pandemic recovery aid, reported the Associated Press.
“We’re seeing since Friday a wrecking ball across the IG community,” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight watchdog group.
The moves shocked the close-knit network of oversight officials in government, and created open conflict between them and the president.
Trump’s allies are warning him that inspectors general are tools of a “Deep State” conspiracy against him, and the president now considers any of those officials who issue damaging findings to be Democrats or “never Trump” conservatives.
Candidates for high-level government jobs or promotions are now being asked whether they voted for Trump, according to Axios.
“It’s just something that doesn’t compute for him,” said Justice Department inspector general Michael Bromwich. “He understands the value of loyalty. He doesn’t understand the value of independence because that can conflict with loyalty.”