CNN's Jake Tapper slams 'Trump's unprecedented war on accountability'

CNN's Jake Tapper slams 'Trump's unprecedented war on accountability'
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CNN’s Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperCarson calls for local leaders to 'condemn vandalization of statues,' 'dismantle autonomous zones' Officials couldn't reach Trump on golf course to delete retweet of video showing man chanting 'white power': report Democratic officials, governors push for nationwide mask mandate as administration defends state-by-state approach MORE slammed President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Trump on Confederate flag: 'It's freedom of speech' MORE on Sunday for his “unprecedented war on accountability” by firing watchdogs for the administration, after the State Department inspector general was ousted on Friday.

Tapper called out the president on “State of the Union” for the firing of Inspector General Steve Linick, saying he is “partly focused on purging inspectors general from his administration” while the rest of the country deals with the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Inspectors general are there during Democratic and Republican administrations,” the CNN host said. “They’re there to protect your money, to make sure your government is operating efficiently and free of corruption. The president does not want them there, and he’s getting away with it.”

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A former inspector general told Tapper that the president is “sending a message to inspectors general:  ‘Do your job at your own peril.’” The former watchdog also said Linick is being replaced by an ambassador, “loyal to Trump above all else.”

Linick is the latest in a chain of watchdogs and whistleblowers to be eliminated from their post, as Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson and Acting Pentagon Inspector General were both fired last month.

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Atkinson was fired after he provided a whistleblower report to Congress that questioned the president’s request to Ukraine for inside information on now presumptive Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenTucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Joe Biden wins New Jersey primary Biden wins Delaware primary MORE. Fine was designated to be in charge of monitoring the $2.2 trillion coronavirus package before his firing.

The CNN host said from his experience, when one party eliminates “a norm … it seldom comes back,” and warned Republicans that Democrats could use the system to their advantage in the future. 

“So while Republicans in Congress sit back cowardly and don’t raise a peep, keep in mind this is not just about President Trump’s unprecedented war on accountability,” he said. “This is about the kind of nation we will have after President Trump leaves office whether in January or 2025."

“It will be a world where watchdogs are replaced by lap dogs,” which he added “doesn’t serve anyone except whoever is in power.”

Tapper also cited Trump’s search for a replacement for Christi Grimm, the principal deputy inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services, after she released a report in March indicating hospitals were low on personal protective equipment needed to fight coronavirus.

Rick Bright, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, alleged in a whistleblower report that he was retaliated against for his warnings about the pandemic. He testified in front of the House on Thursday.