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Trump fires top intelligence officer, because of whom investigation into "Ukrainian case" began

Source : 112 Ukraine

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi considers Atkinson’s dismissal "shame," and Adam Schiff, chairman of the intelligence committee, calls it "an attempt to destroy the independence of the intelligence community."
16:58, 5 April 2020

ABC News

US President Donald Trump fired intelligence general inspector Michael Atkinson, saying the official was wrong to provide an anonymous whistleblower complaint to Congress as the law requires. It is reported by the Associated press.

Trump called Michael Atkinson a “disgrace” after informing Congress late Friday night that he intended to fire him. In letters to the House and Senate intelligence committees, Trump wrote that he had lost confidence in Atkinson but gave little detail.

A day later, Trump was more blunt, telling reporters at the White House: “I thought he did a terrible job, absolutely terrible.” The president added: “He took a fake report and he took it to Congress with an emergency, OK? Not a big Trump fan, that I can tell you.”

The whistleblower report was not fake, but a detailed complaint written by an anonymous intelligence official who described Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democrat Joe Biden and his son. Atkinson determined the complaint was urgent and credible and therefore was required by law to disclose it to Congress, but he was overruled for weeks by the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire.

Related: OPEC talks on reducing oil production postponed due to dispute between Russia and Saudi Arabia

Asked during his daily coronavirus briefing about firing Atkinson, Trump returned to his attacks on the Democratic-led impeachment investigation and trial and his defense that his phone call with Ukraine’s president was “perfect” but had been inaccurately described in the whistleblower’s account. In fact, the partial transcript later released by the president largely supported the whistleblower’s account.

Atkinson is at least the seventh intelligence official to be fired, ousted or moved aside since last summer. In his letters to the intelligence committees informing them of the firing, which were obtained by The Associated Press, Trump said that it is “vital” that he has confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general, and “that is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general.”

Related: Trump threatens tariffs on oil imports if OPEC countries fail to prevent world prices decline

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