It was reported on Monday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo openly admitted to telling Donald Trump to fire State Department inspector general Steve Linick, who was investigating him at the moments.
But according to Pompeo, he was unaware that he was under investigation, 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.”
According to the report, Pompeo did not provide details of what he thought Linick’s failings were, or whether his firing was related to prior reports of political retribution.
You can read the full report HERE.