Pompeo admits he asked Trump to fire State Dept inspector general -- but claims he had no idea he was being investigated
Sec. of State Mike Pompeo (Photo: Shutterstock)

According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he did know that State Department inspector general Steve Linick was investigating him when he asked President Trump to fire him, the Washington Post reports.

In a telephone interview with the Post, Pompeo said the decision was not meant as political retaliation.

“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,” he said. “The kinds of activities he’s supposed to undertake to make us better, to improve us.”

“I actually know how that works,” he added. “I had an IG at the CIA, not the IG that I had chosen but an IG that was there before me. He did fantastic work. He made us better. Linick wasn’t that.”

Pompeo didn't say what he thought Linick’s failings were, or whether his firing was related to prior reports of political retribution.

Linick heads a department that investigates fraud and waste at the State Department. He began investigating Pompeo’s possible use of a political appointee to perform personal tasks for him and his wife, including walking the dog, picking up dry-cleaning and making restaurant reservations.

Read the full report over at The Washington Post.