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Pompeo pushed officials to find way to justify $8B Saudi arms sale: CNN

Pompeo pushed officials to find way to justify $8B Saudi arms sale: CNN
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Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Dems want hearing on DOD role on coronavirus vaccine | US and India sign data-sharing pact | American citizen kidnapped in Niger McEnany appears on Fox in 'personal capacity' as Trump campaign adviser US signs satellite data-sharing pact with India, warns of Chinese threats MORE urged State Department officials to look for a way to legally justify the Trump administration’s use of an emergency declaration to sell more than $8 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates without congressional approval, CNN reported.

"They seemed to have a game plan and it had to be justified," an official who reported the incident to the now-dismissed State Department inspector general told CNN. 

"The attitude was very Trumpian," the official said.

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House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot EngelEliot Lance EngelTrump appointee sparks bipartisan furor for politicizing media agency Office of Special Counsel widens Pompeo probe into Hatch Act violations  Overnight Defense: Trump, Biden set to meet in final debate | Explicit Fort Bragg tweets were sent by account administrator | China threatens retaliation over Taiwan arms sale MORE (D-N.Y.), has said that the State Department Inspector General Steve Linick’s dismissal earlier this month appears to be linked to an investigation into the $8 billion weapon sale. 

The Hill reached out to the State Department for comment. 

Pompeo on Wednesday denied any knowledge of investigations being undertaken by Linick, though The New York Times reported this week that the inspector general had sent him questions regarding the investigation. 

“There are claims that this was for a retaliation for some investigation that the Inspector General’s Office here was engaged in,” Pompeo said in the briefing with reporters Wednesday. “It’s patently false. I have no sense of what investigations were taking place inside the Inspector General’s Office.”

CNN’s sources said they were not aware if the Pompeo’s recommendation was directly linked to his knowledge of the investigation.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani goes off on Fox Business host after she compares him to Christopher Steele Trump looks to shore up support in Nebraska NYT: Trump had 7 million in debt mostly tied to Chicago project forgiven MORE notified Congress late Friday evening of his intention to dismiss Linick, who was appointed in 2013 under President Obama, because he had lost confidence in the watchdog.