WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Sen. Susan Collins, Maine-R, is responding to a tweet by Pres. Donald Trump in which he said 'I hope you are listening.'
Trump took to Twitter late Sunday night to rant about a 60 Minutes interview with coronavirus whistleblower Dr. Rick Bright.
"This whole Whistleblower racket needs to be looked at very closely," Trump tweeted. "It is causing great injustice & harm."
"There seems to be a bit of confusion," Collins said in a statement to NEWS CENTER Maine Monday. "My comments were in reference to the removal of the State Department Inspector General."
Bright, the former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, was critical of Trump's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and development of a vaccine when he testified before Congress last week.
He has been referred to repeatedly as a 'disgruntled employee' by the President.
Although it is unclear, Trump may have pointed to Sen. Collins because she serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
On Saturday, Collins spoke out against the President's sudden firing of Inspector General Steve Linick.
“As a long-time, strong supporter of our Inspectors Generals, I am concerned about the President’s firing of IGs as well as the appointment of a political appointee from within the Department of Transportation to be the acting IG in that Department," Collins said. "I coauthored the 2008 law that requires the President to notify Congress and provide a justification for the removal of an IG. It is not sufficient for the President to say simply that he has lost confidence in the official. Rather, when we wrote the 2008 law, Congress expected a detailed explanation from the President 30 days prior to the removal of an IG."
Collins went on to say Inspectors General are 'key to accountability in federal programs and root out waste, fraud, and abuse' vowing to continue to work to 'ensure the independence of our government watchdogs.'
At NEWS CENTER Maine, we’re focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus.
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