Trump adviser claims inspector general was fired for being part of 'deep state'

'We've had tremendous problems with, some people call it the 'Deep State' ... So I don't mourn the loss'

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Sunday 17 May 2020 19:03 BST
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White House adviser Peter Navarro downplayed the firing of the State Department's inspector general in a TV appearance on Sunday, linking him to the “deep state” and saying that those who are not loyal to the administration must go.

Steve Linick became the fourth inspector general Donald Trump has fired in two months, following his acquittal by the Republican-controlled Senate in his impeachment trial.

“We've had tremendous problems with, some people call it the 'Deep State.' And I think that's apt. So I don't mourn the loss,” said Mr Navarro, director of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, on ABC's This Week.

“There's a bureaucracy out there. And there's a lot of people in that bureaucracy who think they got elected president and not Donald J. Trump,” he added.

The Trump administration has long believed in a “deep state” conspiracy theory that frames competent, non-political, career bureaucrats serving their country by undertaking the requirements of their positions, as working to undermine the president.

On Saturday, Democrats launched an investigation into Mr Trump's late-night firing of Mr Linick, the latest in an escalating pattern of firing watchdogs whom he views as a threat to his presidency.

In April, the president removed a top coronavirus watchdog, Glenn Fine, who was to oversee the government's financial relief response to the coronavirus pandemic.

He also notified Congress that he was firing the inspector general of the US intelligence community, Michael Atkinson, who played a role in triggering the impeachment investigation.

Christi Grimm, who led the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General, was also fired after he accused her of having produced a “fake dossier” on American hospitals suffering shortages on the frontlines of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Mr Navarro is one of the president’s most ardent supporters and mounted a vigorous defence of the administration handling of the coronavirus pandemic in his Sunday morning TV appearance, tying together Joe Biden, Barack Obama, the coronavirus pandemic, and the state of the economy.

With reporting from Reuters

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