Michael Atkinson, arrives in October for closed-door questioning about the whistleblower complaint. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Sources close to President Trump expect him to fire more inspectors general across his government, after his Friday night removal of Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community I.G. who alerted Congress to the complaint that triggered impeachment.

What they're saying: Conservative allies of the president have told him that these I.G.s are members of the “deep state” trying to undermine him. Trump appears to have embraced that view.

  • A conservative ally of the president said inspectors general are part of the U.S. government's "regulatory and compliance systems/organs" that protect the establishment.
  • The subject of “deep state” I.G.s has been discussed within the Groundswell network, the influential circle of conservative activists helmed by Ginni Thomas.

Between the lines: The outster of Atkinson, to take effect in 30 days, comes amid a broader initiative to purge the administration of officials seen as disloyal to the president.

  • The timing of the disclosure, as the nation struggles to manage the virus crisis, means it may go unnoticed by many Americans.
  • Read the letter.

Also Friday: Trump nominated Brian Miller, senior White House associate counsel, as special inspector general for pandemic recovery at the Treasury Department.

Why it matters, from The Wall Street Journal: "The new position, the subject of a disagreement between Democrats and the president, is intended to watch over how $500 billion earmarked for loans to business is spent."

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Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

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Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been highly influential in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.