McEnany: 'No one seemed to care' when Obama fired holdover IGs

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Tuesday that “no one seemed to care” when former President Obama fired holdover inspectors general from the preceding administration, amid an uproar over a string of dismissals by President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal watchdog accuses VOA parent company of wrongdoing under Trump appointee Lawsuit alleges 200K Georgia voters were wrongly purged from registration list Ivanka Trump gives deposition in lawsuit alleging misuse of inauguration funds MORE

McEnany said on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends” that Trump told top officials who have inspectors general from Obama’s administration that it's their decision “whether to let that individual go,” noting that Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoUS to temporarily withdraw some embassy personnel in Baghdad: report Pompeo to host indoor holiday parties at State Department despite warning to employees to hold some missions virtually The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Capital One — Pressure builds as UK approves COVID-19 vaccine MORE recommended firing State Department Inspector General Steve Linick, and Trump agreed. 

She said Obama did the “very same thing” with inspectors general from President George W. Bush's administration.


“When he fired IGs – when several IGs came together and wrote a letter saying, 'President Obama, you’re inhibiting our investigations,' no one seemed to care then,” she said. 

“But all of a sudden, when President Trump does what’s in his lawful authority, people are very upset about it,” she added. 

The president has faced criticism over the removals of several watchdogs in recent weeks. 

Pompeo told The Washington Post that he thought Linick was “undermining” the work of the department. Linick was reportedly investigating allegations that Pompeo was instructing a staffer to complete personal tasks, but the secretary said he was not aware of that investigation.

The president also removed Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson and acting Pentagon Inspector General Glenn Fine last month.

Obama also controversially removed inspectors general during his administration, including Gerald Walpin, the inspector general of the Corporation for National and Community Service, in 2009, the Post noted.