New York Times: Trump floated firing intel watchdog who shared whistleblower complaint

Posted Tuesday, 12 November 2019 ‐ CNN

(CNN)President Donald Trump has raised firing the intelligence community inspector general, Michael Atkinson, for deeming a whistleblower complaint regarding the President's Ukraine dealings to be credible and reporting it to Congress, The New York Times reported Tuesday. Citing four people familiar with the discussions, the Times reported that Trump first conveyed his displeasure around the September public release of the whistleblower complaint, and that he has said he does not know why Atkinson shared it.The whistleblower filed the complaint, which raised concerns over Trump's interactions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, with Atkinson in August. Atkinson, who Trump appointed in 2017, notified House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff on September 9 of an "urgent concern" -- the complaint -- that acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire had overruled. Both the Office of the Director for National Intelligence and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr's office declined to comment when reached by CNN. Spokespeople for the White House and inspector general's office declined to comment to the Times.The report follows a tweet from Trump on Saturday calling for Atkinson -- along with a slew of Democrats -- to testify after House Republicans on Saturday submitted a list of witnesses they'd like to testify as part of the chamber's impeachment inquiry.According to US code, "an Inspector General may be removed from office by the President." The statute states that both chambers of Congress must be notified 30 days beforehand if the president decides to fire the intelligence community's inspector general.Two people familiar with what took place told the Times that they thought Trump had simply been venting and asserted that firing Atkinson had never been brought up in earnest. CNN has reached out to the White House for comment.The Times also reported that people close to Trump think that the potential repercussions of removing Atkinson could be politically disastrous, as Trump would have to count on all available reinforcements from Senate Republican should he face an impeachment trial.CNN's Zachary Cohen, Alex Marquardt, Marshall Cohen, Zachary B. Wolf and Curt Merrill contributed to this report.

Other articles published by CNN

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Rwanda has introduced robots as part of its fight against coronavirus.With 314 confirmed cases of the virus as of May 22, the East African country has enlisted the help of five anti-epidemic robots to battle the virus. The robots were donated by the ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)It was a mouth-watering prospect for sports-starved fans everywhere. Four of the greatest athletes the world has ever known, on the golf course at the same time, offering us a glimpse of who they are when they aren't winning Major Championships and...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)A Texas community hit by terrible tragedy months ago came together over the weekend to celebrate a survivor's first birthday.Paul Gilbert Anchondo was two months old when his parents died shielding him from a shooter at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Several members of the graduating class at The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia, have tested positive for Covid-19, according to a letter from the school."The school has been notified by several Class of 2020 families that their students have...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Just when you thought you'd learned how to spell Grimes and Elon Musk's unusual baby name, they've gone and changed it.Earlier this month, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Musk announced the birth of the baby boy in a post on Twitter, revealing his son was...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

In this weekly column "Cross Exam," Elie Honig, a CNN legal analyst and former federal and state prosecutor, gives his take on the latest legal news. Post your questions below. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN. ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

Rome (CNN)"The doctors were shocked. They said they had never seen anything like this," says Valentina Vigilante, recalling the terrifying day her 6-year-old son Nicolò was rushed into intensive care in Bergamo, northern Italy, as he struggled to...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Vanessa Bryant, wife of the late Kobe Bryant, shared a sweet moment this Memorial Day weekend -- a film of their baby daughter's first steps. In a video posted to Instagram, 11-month-old Capri stumbles across the room for the first time, into the...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)With two barren peaks that rise only about 170 feet above sea level, the now extinct Pūhāhonu volcano in the Northwestern Hawaii Islands doesn't look like much. This is especially true since in the same archipelago, Mauna Loa towers over every...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)Photos and video of Memorial Day weekend celebrations across the US showed plenty of people going to the beach and gathering on boardwalks, but not a lot of people social distancing or wearing masks. From Florida to Indiana and across the country to ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

Hong Kong (CNN Business)An online grocery business backed by Asia's richest man is expanding to hundreds of cities across India — a move widely seen as a challenge to Amazon (AMZN) and FlipKart.JioMart, the grocery platform owned by Mukesh Ambani's Jio ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(Kaiser Health News)As states relax coronavirus restrictions, older adults are advised, in most cases, to keep sheltering in place. But for some, the burden of isolation and uncertainty is becoming hard to bear.This "stay at home awhile longer" advice...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)As warm weather sends people outdoors, some are encountering tenacious pests with no respect for social distance. Forget staying 6 feet apart: Ticks go for blood in the hardest-to-reach places on the human body. Many of those ticks are infected with ...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)At a glance, it may look like many Americans have long forgotten about the dangers of coronavirus.Crowds packed beaches in Florida, Maryland, Georgia, Virginia and Indiana over the weekend -- many venturing out without masks and others failing to...

Posted Monday, 25 May 2020 ‐ CNN

(CNN)At first glance, Shelley Allwang's cubicle looks just like any other office space.But alongside a pinboard full of tchotchkes and a photo of her dog, sits a story that reminds Allwang of the importance of her job, now more than ever. "The Boy and...