May 20, 2020

Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Nicolle Wallace on Deadline White House to discuss everything from Trump's claiming he is taking hydroxychloroquine, to the House's HEROES Act, to the gleeful purging of inspectors general that would put any banana republic dictator to shame. When focusing on the IGs, Wallace noted that firing them seems to be how Trump has spent nearly every Friday night of the pandemic. Most recently, Steve Linick, the State Department's IG was fired for investigating Mike Pompeo's personal corruption AND illegal arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Pelosi surmised that the firings happen on Friday nights to avoid headlines and attention, and then a few days later, Trump makes some insane, bogus announcement to keep the news cycle away from the story behind the firing. "It's ALL a distraction," said the Speaker. Neither Wallace, nor Pelosi was about to let THAT happen, though.

SPEAKER PELOSI: In any event, the fact is that the president is clearly afraid of the truth, and we as the country must insist on the truth, on the truth of how we're fighting the coronavirus, the truth on how we're securing our nation. Not only was the arms sale to Saudi Arabia not approved by Congress, Congress said NO to it. And then they declared a fake emergency in order to do that, and if in fact, and I don't have all of the facts, but if that is what the IG was investigating, then, again, the president was afraid of the truth and we must insist upon the truth. The truth in terms of science, the truth in terms of what the possibilities are for our country in every way. If we don't, we are no longer a great democracy, we are turning into something very different.

And by the way, as I said earlier, the president's words weigh a ton. When certain people hear his words, whether it's about our security, whether it's about anything in terms of even their personal health, they believe the president of the United States. So don't abuse the privilege that you have as president by not only not being fully truthful in your comments, or careful in your comments, but also firing those who tell the truth. And that's what's happening with the IGs. The IGs were established after the Watergate. The purpose was to hold agencies of government accountable, whether Democrats or Republicans. The IG is a respected arbiter of what's happening, and to say, if you don't like what they're talking about, they get fired and even -- even Secretary Pompeo said something to the effect of, "He wasn't operating the way we wanted him to operate." Well, no! He's not supposed to! He's supposed to operate the way an inspector general is supposed to operate.

WALLACE: Yeah, he didn't embrace our "ethos." Right.

SPEAKER PELOSI: It's really unfortunate. It's very sad. And it's really a threat to our democracy. I know that some Republicans are speaking out, writing letters and the rest. I hope they will do more. At least they're, again, saying that this is not right, not for a Democratic president, not for a Republican president, not for any president, or head of any agency of government. We must insist upon the truth.

So, to be clear, the wrongdoing surrounding this Saudi arms sale involves the fact that we had stopped selling them lethal weapons because they were being found to be involved in the deaths of Yemeni civilians, many of them children. The murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Kashoggi further delayed the lifting of that ban. But Trump loves him some munitions money for his Raytheon pals, and Jared-boy loves him some Prince Mohammed bin Salman, so together with Pompeo, they'd been pushing Congress to lift the ban.

As Speaker Pelosi said, though, not only did Congress not approve lifting the ban, they outright SAID NO. So, what do criminals and children do when they don't get what they want? Lie (creating a fake Iran "emergency") and cheat (make the sale.) And when they are called out on it by the truth-tellers and people holding them to account, dictators fire them in the dark of a Friday night.

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