Outgoing U.S. intel watchdog fired by Trump says he acted appropriately

Politics

FILE PHOTO: Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson arrives to testify at a House Intelligence Committee closed-door hearing on a whistleblower complaint about President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., October 4, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Michael Atkinson, the outgoing top watchdog of the U.S. Intelligence Community, on Sunday said he was fired by President Donald Trump for acting impartially in his handling the whistleblower complaint that triggered an impeachment probe of the president last year.

“It is hard not to think that the President’s loss of confidence in me derives from my having faithfully discharged my legal obligations as an independent and impartial Inspector General,” Atkinson said in a statement.

(This story corrects to refer to Atkinson as ‘outgoing’ rather than ‘former’ watchdog in lead paragraph)

Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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