Trump Continues Assault On Inspectors General With Removal Of Appointed Pandemic Spending IG

We have previously discussed President Donald Trump’s firing of the intelligence community’s inspector general, Michael Atkinson — a move that many of us criticized (particularly after Trump made it clear that the firing was due to the fact that Atkinson informed Congress of the Ukraine whistleblower complaint). Yesterday, Trump unfairly attacked the Inspector General who authored a critical report on shortages in hospitals dealing with the outbreak. Trump appointed Health and Human Services Inspector General Christi Grimm but attacked her as a deep state hater despite a record of service to both Republican and Democratic Administrations. Now Trump has removed Glenn Fine — the acting Pentagon watchdog — to lead the group charged with monitoring the coronavirus relief effort. Fine is highly respected and appointed by a panel of inspectors general. All of these moves are unwarranted and dangerous attacks on our system of Inspectors General that should be condemned by both parties.

The new law specifies that the current inspectors general fill the position to oversee the massive spending on the Coronavirus. That was no reason given for Fine’s removal, which directly contradicts the selection process under the new law.

The attack on Grimm was particularly unnerving yesterday. What is interesting is that Admiral Brett Giroir, M.D., offered a convincing rebuttal to the IG criticism by pointing out that it was based on the period of acknowledged shortages — before the impressive distribution of new tests. He also expressed frustration that the IG did not bother to contact him to update such figures.

That would have been the perfect response but instead Trump launched into an attack of Grimm by demanding to know who appointed her. It turned out that he appointed her. However, Jonathan Karl also revealed that she served in prior administrations, including the Obama Administration. That led to a renewed attack on her character. Christi Grimm has an impeccable record of service and deserves better than such an ad hominem attack by the President.

This is wrong and the President needs to know that it is not acceptable. We have a system of inspectors general that is vital to deterring waste and mismanagement. It is not a popular job, but all citizens benefit from independent and professional figures like Fine and Grimm.

136 thoughts on “Trump Continues Assault On Inspectors General With Removal Of Appointed Pandemic Spending IG”

    1. she is a valued asset and she moves to First Lady Chief of Staff which is also important

      Trump is his own press secretary at this point, practically speaking.

      never has the press had such access to a president for direct questions, and yet they waste the opportunity snarking and cutting away when something relevant they don’t like is stated.

      that’s the free press! free because you get what you pay for, mostly. free of content and insight

      1. Mr. K:

        “yet they waste the opportunity snarking and cutting away when something relevant they don’t like is stated.”
        ***************************

        At this point, the corporate press is a political adversary that Trump needs to address head-on and treat them as such. He’s already exposed their utter partisanship and ripped off their veneer of objectivity. As his adversary, he needs to isolate and defund them using his bully pulpit and his powers of persuasion with the American people. Divide them into definable ideologies and paint them for the anti-patriotic scum they are. Point out and publicize every lie. CNN is on its last legs as is MSNBC. Hell even Lemonhead is thinking of hanging it up and Fredo can’t last much longer. If advertisers get the hint that the buzzards are circling, they’ll high tail it. I think the strategy is to call them out for their outrageous lies and their anti-American sentiment. Then to link them with their corporate globalist masters like Bezos and their America -is-to-be-exploited mentality. Since globalism is failing on all fronts from the failing EU, the failed Caliphate and soon-to-fail China, its a winning playbook.

  1. Dear Mr. Turley,

    As I understand it, the IG forwarded a recommendation not based on a first-hand account. Although not apparently illegal, it looks suspect. I am not sure if the IG questioned the whistleblower about how he found out – names, dates, etc. I am curious if the IG asked if anyone else (like members of Congress) were already aware of the allegations and had anything to do with the report. Finally, did the IG ever request or look at the transcript of the conversation before moving forward?

  2. Trump has now decided there are no limits on his power. To all who think this is good, think what happens when he decides you aren’t supine enough.

    Trump knows what he intends to do with the relief money and he doesn’t want anyone watching! Lout, grifter, thief and the darling of the Republican party. He embodies all of their values and he despises the Constitution. Trump is the perfect Republican.

    Object all you want, he is what he is. Even his “medical advice” regarding an untried drug is tied to the money he will make. His medical adviser on this scam is Rudy!

  3. Former Bush Appointee Blasts IG’s Removal

    Paul Rosenzweig, a Department of Homeland Security political appointee in the George W. Bush administration, blasted the president’s removal of Fine as “an affront to independence and oversight.”

    Said Rosenzweig: “Frankly, if the House of Representatives does not condition all further Covid aid on the restriction of the president’s removal authority, they will have made a mistake. They should realize that the president is no longer operating in any semblance of good faith and he is more dangerous to the fabric of American democracy than the virus.”

    Rosenzweig predicted that Trump may take aim next at the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, whose office on Monday released a survey of more than 300 hospitals across the country finding that the top complaint was a “severe” and “widespread” shortage of testing supplies and protective gear.

    That finding contrasted with Trump’s rosier assessment that the country had carried out more Covid-19 testing than any other in the world — nearly 1.8 million tests to date. Trump seemed perturbed by reporters’ questions asking him to square his remarks with the survey conducted by the HHS watchdog.

    Edited From: “Trump Removes Inspector General Who Was To Oversee $2 Trillion Stimulus Spending”

    Today’s Washington Post

    1. You could subtitle that one “DEEP STATE WAR INTENSIFIES”

      this is the kind of fellow who is sore that he was not rehired for some job in the whole bureaucratic tangle of it

      1. Kurtz, the “Deep State” is the meritocracy of civil servants who are rewarded for doing their job well, both in their sense of pride and approval from superiors. It by this standard that they gave the election to to Trump in 2016 by outing Hillary’s campaign while protecting his. As has been verified, neither Strozck, Comey, or anyone acted unprofessionally or with some ulterior motive in mind while in their roles, nor was IG Atkinson in anyway motivated by anything other than doing his job well. While some may be lazy, not that bright – even though there is stiff competition for many of these positions – or posses any number of human failings, there is no financial or other gain for these people to cheat or lie, activities by the way which your leader has been guilty of, including in his own charity, Trump University, numerous bankruptcies, and now as president -see misuse of federal funds as leverage for illicit campaign advantage.

        How you have managed to convince yourself that up is down with this guy is a mystery, but some day you will wonder “what the f was I thinking?”. Apparently you think that I have so much invested in this bad choice that I’ll believe whatever excuse this guy or his enablers come up with – Deep State conspiracies, all the press is lying, he’s really draining the swamp (while hiring cronies and firing anyone independent). It is not really possible to imagine a person more incompetent, petty, dishonest, vain, and small becoming President than Trump. Snap out of it.

      2. Kurtz on point. All I needed was Washington Post and Former Bush Appointee to know how the story was bent.

        Funny that Bush and Romney could never criticize Obama, “because they are too decent”, but don’t stop spewing hatred at someone in their own party who is doing wonders for the country. I never realized what pathetic little men they can be.

        1. I haven’t noticed Bush or Romney ‘spewing hatred’, just taking antagonistic stances motivated (we have reason to believe) by self-centeredness. The Bushes father and son had nothing to say about the IRS abuses, the stupefying lying over Benghazi, the erosion of ballot security, or the constant lawfare of the last several years. AFAIK, Romney was pretty much AWOL as well. Supposedly, Bush the Younger made pots of money on the speaking circuit in front of trade associations, in confidential settings. Evidently he never said anything interesting enough for someone to leak it.

          The post-Gingrich Republican Party was just one big frigging disappointment.

    2. As to the number of tests performed, the raw numbers do not tell the truth, and Trump knows it. Based on the number of tests per capita, the U.S. is way behind almost all other countries. The raw numbers really don’t matter as much as the percentage of the total population. Testing has been a disaster from the get-go. Plus, now we learn that Navarro warned Trump in late January about just how serious COVID-19 would be, to which Trump responded publicly by calling it a “hoax” and downplaying the risk and seriousness. If he had listened, and if stay at home and face mask recommendations had been implemented sooner, many American lives could be saved. Instead, he obsessed about flavored vaping materials.

      These so-called press briefings on COVID-19 are nothing but substitute vainglory rallies that Trump can’t have due to the pandemic that his incompetence made worse. He has to be near the explosion point–no golfing, no vainglory rallies, no trips to Mar-a-Lago to wine and dine the fat cat insiders that he can brag to about how he’s making them rich, the stock market is still low, unemployment at record highs, and Americans are dying right and left from an illness he called a “hoax”. Meanwhile, the record number of firings keeps going. I hope journalists like Yamiche Alcindor keep pushing him to account for own statements and the facts because the truth is so offensive to him, and he’ll likely blow his stack, so that even the Trumpsters out there can see him for the petty, vindictive narcissist he really is.

      Meanwhile, where is Jared? Has Trump set a new record for firing someone to head a project–one day? Looks like the Mooch has been vindicated.

      1. The Mooch has been vindicated, especially when he said Wall Street was learning that the financial pandemic was Trump himself.

        I just can’t do the Trump pressers anymore. Watching the Gimp amble in, read poorly from his written material, then blow his stack at legit questions. It’s more than a bit old.

        I watch Cuomo and then the governor of my own state (Gina Raimondo) they’re both infinitely better at breaking it all down and in actually negotiating their respective states around Trump. Raimondo just worked a deal with CVS to massively up testing capability in Rhode Island. Impressive.

  4. Christi Grimm has an impeccable record of service and deserves better than such an ad hominem attack by the President.

    And yet you are using ad hominem.

    We have a system of inspector generals that is vital to deterring waste and mismanagement.

    Thanks for the humor. C’est la vie, c’est la guerre, c’est la pomme de terre

    Meanwhile speaking of ad hominem….yowza

    🔥

    https://abovethelaw.com/2020/04/jonathan-turley-doesnt-understand-all-your-crazy-sounding-ethnic-food/

    Jonathan Turley Doesn’t Understand All Your Crazy Sounding Ethnic Food!
    Legal scholar debases himself for that one extra hit.

    By JOE PATRICE

    Apparently GWU Law’s Jonathan Turley understands international cuisine about as well as he understands the Constitution. The longtime legal analyst — most famous for testifying in favor of impeaching Bill Clinton and against impeaching Donald Trump for complex and nuanced constitutional arguments steeped in his detailed understanding of what might get him media coverage at the time — has tried his hand at amateur restaurant critic!

    While it’s fun to think that Jonathan Turley is culinarily cloistered by his own delightfully passive racism, that’s probably a lie. ….

    No, this isn’t about food, this is about the cable news economy and performative white nationalism is the coin of the realm, my friends. Turley’s so thirsty for more screen time as the vaguely liberal-ish person who defends Donald Trump — a job he’s thoroughly lost to Alan Dershowitz, by the way — that he’s offering a song and dance about how he’s uncomfortable with all these ethnic names taking over “our” food in the hope Tucker Carlson will offer him his fix in the form of a superficial 5-minute spot that will be all but forgotten as soon as it airs.

    That’s just what you’ve got to do if you want airtime these days. It’s not news, it’s an opiate. Hold the audience’s hand and tell them you’re an ostensibly smart person and you also don’t understand why Indian restaurants can’t call it “Creamy Tomato Chicken” like “normal” people talk. Say this stuff enough, and you might even get a paid deal with Fox!

  5. The problem with inspector general is that they often follow their own policies rather than the established policies they are there to ensure are being followed. Furthermore, IGs report to higher officials who, in turn, report to the President of the United States, not to Congress and definitely not to the media. The Constitution does not allow for “independent” agencies and offices. If it’s not part of either Congress or the courts, ALL Federal offices are part of the Executive Branch, which Article II makes clear is under the President – period. All college professors and lawyers can do is theorize.

  6. You gotta be kidding!
    They are unethical colluding scumbags. Atkinsson should be charged with Sedition. Horowitz did his best to cover fro crimes by corrupt FBI and DoJ. Where is your outrage on this?!?!?!!!!
    WE HAVE NO IG’S WITH ANY SORT OF MORALS AND PATRIOTISM. THEY ARE ALL DEEP STATE PROTECTORS.

    My God man look at the FISA abuse!!!

  7. Sometimes when you clean house, some old and cherished items that once worked has to go to the Salvation Army.

  8. Would those be the IG’s that refused to go after dirty cops, dirty politicians and so forth? Just wondering. What good are they when they don’t do anything? Comey, Strzok and the gang of nine. Clinton, Clinton, Feinstein and more. The one’s that gave Obama, Kerry and Clintons deals a free ride? Lucky they didn’t get more than dismissed.

  9. “Admiral Brett Giroir, M.D., offered a convincing rebuttal to the IG criticism by pointing out that it was based on the period of acknowledged shortages — before the impressive distribution of new tests. He also expressed frustration that the IG did not bother to contact him to update such figures.”

    The crux of the matter is in this statement. Why did she go to the liberal press when she should have as the General said contacted him. It appeared to those of us watching another attempt to run down what the Task Force is doing and make the Trump Administration look bad, it would seem as an IG your chain of command doesn’t have the press at the head of it.

    1. The IG does not work for individuals in the administration not within the OIG. They are tasked with doing objective reports, not warning those who may or may not be doing their job correctly.

      Trump has just removed the IG who was head of the 10 person committee charged with oversight on the billions of funds to be awarded from the CV bill just passed by Congress. That person was selected by the other members – all apparently IGs themselves – to be their head. Trump has installed the IG for the EPA in his stead.

      These positions are not intended to be musical chairs until an administration favorable member is found and Trump is corrupting the process is braod daylight. Will GOP members in the Congress let this go without opposition?

  10. particularly after Trump made it clear that the firing was due to the fact that Atkinson’s informed Congress of the Ukraine whistleblower complaint…
    not so much as Atkinson adjusted dates, falsely claimed things… amd and who might he be “in bed with”… both physically (spouse) but othet swamp creatures…

  11. Her record is not “impecable” if she held onto her report for weeks and then released stale information to the media rather than reporting to someone who could address whatever remained of the problems in a rapidly improving situation.

    Her conduct can be explained by stupidity or sabotage or both.

      1. When Dr. BIirx was asked by a reporter what her recommendation to the President would be she said she would give that to the President.

        That is the proper answer.

        Leak it to the media and you have an agenda and should be escorted from the building with a little box of your knick knacks and a hanky to dry your tears.

  12. Trump does whatever he feels like, sensible or not, legal or not, and he is absolutely immune from the consequences of anything he does. He has run unfettered for 3.5 years, and will continue to do so until de-throned. Those are the hard facts and the major disappointment of so many of us that his party enables, encourages and blindly supports him. Nothing he does surprises anyone anymore.

    1. Well he was impeached and there have been quite a few lawsuits against him. But why let the facts get in the way of your narrative. By all means carry on. Orange Man Bad, Orange Man Bad, Orange Man Bad, Orange Man Bad.

  13. Well I kind of hate to say it but knowing all this would you have still felt compelled to weigh in for Trump on the impeachment situation.

  14. There should be term limits on IGs. No more than 10 years. The one at my agency is an affirmative action special and as dumb as a carrot. He has been around as long as I can remember – at least 15 years. He’s been called on the carpet by Congress for failure to produce – at one point they even demanded his daily calendar to see what the Hell he was doing with his time. But ineptitude is not grounds for removal; only misconduct is, so it appears that he essentially has a lifetime appointment.

    1. .”But ineptitude is not grounds for removal; only misconduct is, so it appears that he essentially has a lifetime appointment.”

      THIS IS THE PROBLEM WITH AMERICAN BUREAUCRACY IN A NUTSHELL
      doesnt matter public or private, you need to find a way to fire losers
      doesnt matter of ifs a public agency or a university or a bank–
      or a hospital with a greedy beancounter for executive who refused to stock enough ppe

      if not then we all suffer — as we are doing

    2. Agreed. Horowitz has been supercilious and amazingly ineffective. He needs to be replaced as well. Equal justice under the law MUST return to our so-called Justice Department.

  15. I don’t know Mr. Fine, but I do know that none of the Inspector Generals have been doing nearly enough to clean up their departments. The Pentagon IG has been sweeping things under the rug in serious cases. The President has every right to remove these, and frankly, should fire them across the board and appoint people who are willing to do the hard work to expose and clean up the corruption instead of white-washing it. Congress had one that tried to do that, and Congress (Pelosi et al) forced her out when she discovered the Awan brothers thefts and security breaches which the US Attorney in DC then white-washed.

    1. Ms. Powell, I agree with your point concerning the spotty record of many Inspectors General. However, I do not believe that the President’s motivation is a commitment to honest and thorough investigations of corruption. His record of appointments during his term to date speaks for itself.

    2. Trump should fire every single one and then go outside DC swamp to get recommendations. Id start with putting Rudy G as DoJ IG

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