Administration

Pompeo pushed officials to find way to justify $8B Saudi arms sale: CNN

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged State Department officials to look for a way to legally justify the Trump administration’s use of an emergency declaration to sell more than $8 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates without congressional approval, CNN reported.

“They seemed to have a game plan and it had to be justified,” an official who reported the incident to the now-dismissed State Department inspector general told CNN. 

“The attitude was very Trumpian,” the official said.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), has said that the State Department Inspector General Steve Linick’s dismissal earlier this month appears to be linked to an investigation into the $8 billion weapon sale. 

The Hill reached out to the State Department for comment. 

Pompeo on Wednesday denied any knowledge of investigations being undertaken by Linick, though The New York Times reported this week that the inspector general had sent him questions regarding the investigation. 

“There are claims that this was for a retaliation for some investigation that the Inspector General’s Office here was engaged in,” Pompeo said in the briefing with reporters Wednesday. “It’s patently false. I have no sense of what investigations were taking place inside the Inspector General’s Office.”

CNN’s sources said they were not aware if the Pompeo’s recommendation was directly linked to his knowledge of the investigation.

President Trump notified Congress late Friday evening of his intention to dismiss Linick, who was appointed in 2013 under President Obama, because he had lost confidence in the watchdog.

 

Tags Donald Trump Eliot Engel Mike Pompeo

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