On Friday night, President Donald Trump announced that he was firing State Department Inspector General Steve Linick. Over the weekend, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel (D-NY) said that he was aware that Linick may have been investigating Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; reports at first indicated that it was about making staffers do personal work for him. On Monday, Engel announced that Linick may also have been investigating Pompeo for defying the will of Congress regarding arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Engel and other members of Congress warned that the firing could have been illegal retaliation and have launched an investigation.
Pompeo’s explanation to The Washington Post was less than convincing:
Then, during a meeting with restaurateurs at the White House on Monday afternoon, Trump announced that he fired Linick at Pompeo’s own request.
Trump shortly thereafter announced that he was taking antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a preventative treatment for COVID-19, which set off a predictable frenzy on Twitter; too many news outlets followed the shiny object and ignored the blatant corruption.
On Monday night, CBS Evening News didn’t cover Trump firing Linick at all.
As of this morning, there are no references to Pompeo or the State Department on the homepage for The Wall Street Journal. On the homepage for The New York Times, there is only a small headline far down the page (it does not even load unless one scrolls down) that “Investigator Fired by Trump Had Examined Weapons Sales to Saudis.” The Washington Post does mention the story toward the middle of the page, as well as featuring a podcast about it.