Inspector General Fired by Trump Defends Flagging Whistleblower Complaint

Michael Atkinson said he acted impartially and urged other government employees to "bravely speak up"

In this file photo, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community Michael Atkinson arrives to the Capitol Visitor Center to testify to House Intelligence Committee during a closed door briefing on Friday, October 4, 2019.
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images

The inspector general whose firing was disclosed in a letter to Congress defended on Sunday his handling of a whistleblower complaint that led to President Donald Trump's impeachment, NBC News reports.

Inspector General of the Intelligence Community Michael Atkinson said in a statement that it was hard not to think Trump fired him because he "faithfully discharged my legal obligations as an independent and impartial" inspector general.

Atkinson, a career prosecutor who was confirmed by the Senate in 2018, urged government employees and contractors to use "authorized channels to bravely speak up."

In a letter to Congress obtained by NBC News on Friday, Trump said he no longer had confidence in Atkinson, who will remain at his post for another 28 days.

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