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Glenn Fine, acting Pentagon watchdog. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump on Monday replaced the Pentagon's acting inspector general Glenn Fine, who had been selected to chair the panel overseeing the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill passed last month, Politico first reported.

Why it matters: A group of independent federal watchdogs selected Fine to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, but Fine's removal from his Pentagon job prevents him from being able to serve in that position — since the law only allows sitting inspectors general to fill the role.

  • The group of inspectors general will now have to choose a new watchdog to lead the committee.
  • The White House named Environmental Protection Agency inspector general Sean O’Donnell to serve as the acting Pentagon inspector general in addition to his current post. Fine will return to his role as the Pentagon's principal deputy inspector general, a spokesperson told Politico.

The big picture: Sources close to Trump tell Axios' Jonathan Swan that they expect him to fire more inspectors general across his administration, after his Friday night removal of Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general who alerted Congress to the complaint that triggered impeachment.

  • Conservative allies of the president have told him that these inspectors general are members of the "deep state" trying to undermine him, and Trump appears to have embraced that view.
  • On Monday, Trump rebuked a reporter at a coronavirus press briefing for asking about findings from the Department of Health and Human Services inspector general. He continued to attack the HHS inspector general on Twitter on Tuesday, claiming that she spent eight years with the Obama administration and calling her report "another Fake Dossier."
  • The HHS inspector general, Christi Grimm, has served as a federal watchdog in multiple administrations since 1999.

What they're saying: "Trump just fired the Inspector General overseeing the relief package. And threatened another who reported PPE shortages," House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said in a tweet Tuesday.

  • "Inspectors General are charged with doing independent oversight and exposing corruption. Their job is to uncover the truth. Exactly why Trump fears them," Schiff added.

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

Axios AM Deep Dive: Covid forever

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

It was 563 days ago that the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by healthcare reporter Caitlin Owens, looks at our Covid future.

Federal judge blocks vaccine mandate for NYC teachers

Students are dismissed from the first day of school at PS 133 in Brooklyn on Sept. 13. Photo: Michael Nagle/Xinhua via Getty Images

A federal appeals court judge on Friday temporarily blocked New York City schools from enforcing a vaccine mandate for school employees, days before it was set to take effect, AP reports.

Driving the news: The vaccine mandate was set to begin on Monday, prompting concerns over staffing shortages in schools across the nation's largest school system.

CCP releases two jailed Canadians after Huawei CFO deal with DOJ

Photo: Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Two Canadians imprisoned by the Chinese government for over 1,000 days have been released and are expected to arrive in Canada on Saturday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday.

Why it matters: Their release comes hours after Huawei Technologies CFO Meng Wanzhou reached a deal with the U.S. Department of Justice that resolves the criminal charges against her and could pave the way for her to return to China.