There has been much speculation among Democrats and the mainstream media, and much gnashing of teeth over the firing of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick last week. It doesn’t matter that it sounds like the reasons for his ouster were entirely valid – what matters to the left and the MSM is that it’s another opportunity to crank up the outrage machine during an election year against President Trump.
Not surprisingly, that is exactly what Joe Biden did during a Yahoo News virtual town hall Tuesday where he talked about Linick’s firing and President Trump’s firing of Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson last month.
Biden was asked by the interviewer if he would support Congressional efforts to make it harder for the executive branch to “unilaterally” fire inspectors general. Biden emphatically answered “yes, yes” and then launched into a passionate defense of the role of inspectors general, stating the firing of them had been a “troubling pattern” with the Trump administration this year:
“Inspector generals were designed to make government honest. To keep it honest,” he said. “It’s a gigantic government. We have a thousand employees. It’s part of a troubling pattern since this whole covid crisis began.”
But after Biden finished his answer, the interviewer inserted an inconvenient reminder of how Inspector General Gerald Walpin was fired in the first year of the Obama-Biden administration, a firing Walpin and Republicans claimed was political retaliation because Walpin was investigating a friend and donor to President Obama. Here’s how Biden reacted:
Joe Biden pledges to not fire an inspector general, but then gets reminded that he did exactly that when he was vice president.
"I don't recall that" and "I don't ever remember." Of course! pic.twitter.com/oD1guyqo5n
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 & get the APP (@TrumpWarRoom) May 20, 2020
Of course he doesn’t “recall.” How very convenient.
The rationale given for Walpin’s firing was particularly vicious. Obama officials accused Walpin, who passed away in 2016, of senility, stating the former I.G. was “confused” and “disoriented” at a meeting the month prior to his firing.
Walpin’s ouster was one of many that happened during the Obama-Biden administration, several of which happened early on in Obama’s first term.