USA: Pompeo says State Dept watchdog should have been fired 'some time ago'

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that he should have recommended the State Department inspector general be fired «some time ago,» while speaking at a press briefing in Washington DC on Wednesday. Inspector General Steve Linick was fired by President Donald Trump on Friday, reportedly while he was investigating both a Saudi arms deal reached by the administration and allegations that the... Еще Secretary of State had used government staff to perform private errands. Pompeo refused to provide an explanation of why Linick was fired but said that «it was impossible» that his termination was in retaliation for his investigations. The Secretary of State then took shots at Democrats — particularly Senator Bob Menendez — who have criticised him over the firing of Linick. «This is all coming through the office of Senator Menendez. I don't get my ethics guidance from a man who was criminally prosecuted — case number 15/155, New Jersey Federal District Court. A man for whom his Senate colleagues bipartisan said basically that he was taking bribes,» he said. Pompeo announced sanctions against 12 Iranian «individuals and entities» which include Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli. «We have reason to believe that he is the individual who gave orders in November 2019 authorising Iranian police forces to use lethal force on peaceful protesters inside Iran. His evil command killed Iranian citizens,» said Pompeo. He also touched down on the power-sharing agreement signed in Afghanistan between President Ashraf Ghani and rival Abdullah Abdullah on Sunday, urging both leaders to «channel the momentum generated by this positive outcome to speed up the government's entry into inter-Afghan negotiations.» «We need all sides, including the Taliban, to do their part to get into talks,» Pompeo added.
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