New details are emerging about the controversial firing of a government watchdog, and they are not the stuff of high-stakes political intrigue. Instead, they are the stuff of mundane personal errands, such as dog-walking, picking up dry cleaning, and making dinner reservations. The watchdog who got fired was investigating whether Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made one of his staffers do such things, reports NBC News. Various other outlets, including the Washington Post and CNN, have confirmed. President Trump fired the State Department's inspector general, Steve Linick, late Friday afternoon, and all the stories say Trump acted on Pompeo's personal recommendation.
The Post reports that Linick had "agitated" top White House administration officials but adds that it remains unclear what specifically led to his firing. In a formal letter to Nancy Pelosi, Trump explained it thusly: "It is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as Inspectors General. That is no longer the case with regard to this Inspector General." One of the main duties of an inspector general is to root out government waste. Congressional Democrats have launched an investigation into the firing. (Trump fired two other watchdogs in recent weeks.)