Clyburn: Trump Firing Inspector General ‘One of the Reasons’ Pelosi Formed House Committee

Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) said the House committee formed to oversee the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic was announced by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Thursday in part because President Donald Trump on Friday fired of Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general.

Host Jake Tapper said, “As millions of Americans wait for financial help from the federal government, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says Congress will keep a close eye on the Trump administration’s allocation of the funds with an oversight committee chaired by James Clyburn of South Carolina who joins me now. Thanks for joining us. President Trump on Friday fired the intelligence community inspector general who, of course, was the one who informed Congress of the whistle-blower complaint that ultimately led to the president’s impeachment. The president said it was his decision, and he did not run it by Congress because he has the absolute right to do what he did. What’s your response?”

Clyburn said, “My response is simply this. I think that that is one of the reasons speaker Pelosi decided that this committee was necessary. We in the United States Congress have oversight. And we must perform that oversight. And we will do that to make sure that we save lives, that we save taxpayer money, and she was very smart, I think, to pattern this committee after the Truman Committee that was stood up in 1941. Harry Truman said at the time he was an editor in Missouri at the time, he looked back at what happened in the country after World War I and saw that 116 different committees were stood up to investigate what was going on after World War I. He said at the time he thought it was much better to have one committee before the fact. And that committee proved to be very, very wise. According to history, the committee spent less than $1 million but saved $15 billion for the taxpayers. That’s what Speaker Pelosi is trying to do here, get out in front of this to protect the American people so that we cannot only save lives but keep fraud and abuse, profiteering, from happening. We’ve seen that already. The governor of New York recently said that masks that he was spending 70 cents for, he’s now having to spend $7 for. Is that price gouging? I think it is. And that’s what this committee is all about.”

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