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Grassley questions Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on June 3 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said on Thursday that he will block the confirmation of two of President Trump's nominees until the White House provides "adequate explanations" for why the inspectors general for the intelligence community and State Department were ousted in the past two months.

Why it matters: It's a rare attempt by a Republican to hold Trump accountable for his recent purge of federal watchdogs. Grassley has long considered himself a defender of inspectors general.

  • In the past two months, Trump has moved to oust Intelligence Community IG Michael Atkinson, State Department IG Steve Linick, acting Pentagon IG Glenn Fine, and acting Health and Human Services IG Christi Grimm.
  • Linick was removed at the recommendation of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Trump told reporters that he has offered to fire any Obama-appointed inspector general.

Details: Grassley said he is refusing to consider the White House nomination of Christopher C. Miller as director of the National Counterterrorism Center. Miller was nominated on May 4.

  • Grassley will also block the nomination of Marshall Billingslea as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, which the White House announced for consideration on May 1.

Go deeper: Top Democrats to investigate ouster of State Department watchdog

Go deeper

Trump says he'll nominate Chad Wolf to be DHS secretary

Chad Wolf. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he will nominate acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to be the permanent head of the agency.

Why it matters: It's been more than 500 days since a Senate-confirmed secretary led the Department of Homeland Security — a record for any administration.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
28 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Higher education expands its climate push

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New or expanded climate initiatives are popping up at several universities, a sign of the topic's rising prominence and recognition of the threats and opportunities it creates.

Why it matters: Climate and clean energy initiatives at colleges and universities are nothing new, but it shows expanded an campus focus as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, and the world is nowhere near the steep emissions cuts that scientists say are needed to hold future warming in check.

Ina Fried, author of Login
54 mins ago - Economy & Business

The pandemic isn't slowing tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Thursday's deluge of Big Tech earnings reports showed one thing pretty clearly: COVID-19 may be bad in all sorts of ways, but it's not slowing down the largest tech companies. If anything, it's helping some companies, like Amazon and Apple.

Yes, but: With the pandemic once again worsening in the U.S. and Europe, it's not clear how long the tech industry's winning streak can last.

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