President Trump on Tuesday acknowledged an effort to remove certain officials from his administration, saying that he wants people working for him who are “loyal to our country.”
Trump reacted to a question about reports that White House personnel chief John McEntee is targeting officials viewed as disloyal.
Trump said he didn’t think it would be “very many people” but that his White House wants people “that are good for the country.” The president did not explicitly addressing reports about lists of anti-Trump administration officials that have been compiled by the White House staff and outside allies.
“I don’t think it’s a big problem. I don’t think it’s very many people,” Trump told reporters at a press conference in New Delhi near the conclusion of a two-day trip to India.
Trump went on to complain about the anonymous intelligence community whistleblower who filed a complaint about his interactions with Ukraine that eventually led to his impeachment.
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He asserted that the person was “fake” and that the complaint “bore no relationship” to the transcript of his call with Ukraine’s leader, though the whistleblower complaint is widely viewed to have accurately depicted the details of Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“I think we had a whistleblower who was a fake because if you look at the whistleblower as an example, if you look at his report, and then you compare that to the transcripts, it bore no relationship,” Trump said. Trump did not say specifically whether he expected the whistleblower, who reportedly works for the CIA, to be among those ousted from the administration.
“We want to have people that are good for the country, that are loyal to our country, because that was a disgraceful situation,” Trump continued.
The president has sought to oust individuals he views as having crossed him during his impeachment, installing loyalists in top roles in their stead. The White House removed impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman from his role on the National Security Council, for instance, and Trump fired Gordon Sondland as his ambassador to the European Union.
Meanwhile, last week, the president tapped U.S. ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, a close ally, as acting director of national intelligence. Critics have argued that his appointment showed Trump is favoring loyalists over those with necessary experience to fill roles.
Story cited here.