U.S. President Donald Trump says the intelligence community watchdog that he fired late Friday was “a disgrace.”
Trump said Saturday that Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson should not have told Congress about the whistleblower complaint that led to Trump’s impeachment earlier this year.
“He took a fake report and he took it to Congress,” Trump said.
Congressman Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told the U.S. news network MSNBC Saturday that Trump is “decapitating the leadership of the intelligence community in the middle of a national crisis.” Schiff, a Democrat, said the president’s action is “unconscionable.”
Republican Senator Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Atkinson’s firing “was not warranted.”
Trump officially notified the congressional intelligence committees Friday that Atkinson’s firing would go into effect in 30 days.
He said in a letter that he “no longer” had “the fullest confidence” in Atkinson. Trump said he would name a replacement for Atkinson “at a later date.”