Trump says investigation into Pompeo shows 'screwed up' priorities

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden campaign slams Facebook after thousands of ads blocked by platform's pre-election blackout Mnuchin says he learned of Pelosi's letter to him about stimulus talks 'in the press' Harris to travel to Texas Friday after polls show tie between Trump, Biden MORE on Monday said he fired the State Department inspector general at the request of Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo's wife and son made personal requests of State Dept staff: report Pompeo: US citizens born in Jerusalem can now list Israel on passports The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden blitz battleground states MORE, but appeared unfamiliar with any of the investigations the inspector general was said to be conducting into Pompeo at the time of his ouster.

A reporter told Trump of the two investigations Inspector General Steve Linick was carrying out at the time of his ouster after Trump said he knew nothing about it. When the president learned that one involved concerns that Pompeo had a State Department staffer performing personal errands, such as walking his dog, Trump didn't see the issue.

"Here’s a man supposed to be negotiating war and peace with major, major countries with weaponry like the world has never seen before, and the Democrats and the fake news media they’re interested in a man who’s walking their dog," Trump said. "And maybe he’s busy. And maybe he’s negotiating with Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnOvernight Defense: Biden nets military family endorsements | Final debate features North Korea exchange | Judge refuses to dismiss sexual assault case against top general Biden: Obama wouldn't 'legitimize' North Korea with meeting How Trump and Biden contrast on foreign policy MORE, OK, about nuclear weapons. So that he'd say please could you walk my dog?"


The president added that he'd rather have Pompeo "on the phone with some world leader than have him wash dishes because maybe his wife isn't there, or his kids aren't there."

"I don’t know," Trump continued. "I think this country has a long way to go. The priorities are really screwed up when I read this."

When the reporter explained another investigation was looking into the administration’s use of an emergency declaration to sell billions of dollars of weapons to Saudi Arabia and other allies, Trump saw no issue and called Pompeo a "high quality guy."

"If somebody wants to give us billions of dollars to buy an airplane or a number of airplanes and missiles and all of the other things that we make better than anybody in the world, we should take the money, we should make the deals fast," Trump said.

Trump late Friday announced his intention to dismiss Linick, the State Department inspector general since 2013. The decision drew swift rebuke from Democrats who accused the administration of political retaliation, saying the inspector general was investigating Pompeo's possible misuse of taxpayer funds.

Rep. Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelOVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Administration notifies Congress it plans to approve F-35 sale to UAE | VMI votes to remove Stonewall Jackson statue after allegations of racism| House defense panel chairman: Trump has 'no plan' to leave Afghanistan by Christmas Administration notifies Congress it plans to approve F-35 sale to UAE On The Trail: The fallacy of a conclusive election night MORE (D-N.Y.), along with Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezTrump appointee sparks bipartisan furor for politicizing media agency Senate Democrats hold talkathon to protest Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Watchdog confirms State Dept. canceled award for journalist who criticized Trump MORE (D-N.J.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have launched an investigation into the circumstances of Linick’s dismissal.