Apr 8, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump's moves against federal watchdogs signal "deep state" war

Mike Allen, author of AM

The socially distanced briefing room yesterday. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In the last week, President Trump fired an inspector general tied to impeachment, castigated another he felt was critical of the virus response, and sidelined a third meant to guard against wasteful spending of the trillions in coronavirus aid, AP writes.

Why it matters: Trump's moves against the watchdogs are a signal and reveal how he plans to govern in the final nine months of this term. Conservative allies of the president are targeting IGs across government, telling him this is a position that the "deep state" uses to undercut him.

Now, anytime Trump hears about a finding from an IG, he leaps to the conclusion that they’re a Democrat or Never Trumper.

  • People being considered for high-level positions or promotions are being asked flatly by White House officials if they voted for Trump.

The bottom line: Unchastened by the virus crisis, Trump is continuing his post-impeachment moves to purge government of anyone not personally loyal to him.

  • These days, the minute he hears anything like that about virtually anyone, he’s willing to authorize action.

Go deeper: Trump removes watchdog overseeing rollout of $2 trillion coronavirus bill

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