Washington Afternoon Update: Grassley, Seeking Answers on IG Firings, Places Hold on Trump Nominees


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  • Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said he was putting a hold on President Donald Trump’s nominees for director of the National Counterterrorism Center and undersecretary of state for arms control and international security until Trump explains the reasoning behind the recent firings of two inspectors general. The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee has been a longtime advocate for inspectors general, and his concerns were renewed when Trump recently fired Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community’s inspector general, and Steve Linick, the State Department’s top watchdog. (Politico)
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said she is “struggling” with whether she can continue to support Trump and aligned herself with former Defense Secretary James Mattis’ accusation that Trump is deliberately trying to divide Americans. Her comments to reporters on Capitol Hill stood out among Republican senators, who were mostly silent on Mattis’ statement or offered supportive words for both the president and the retired four-star Marine general. (The Washington Post)
  • Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) delayed a vote until next week on whether to authorize subpoenas for dozens of former Obama administration officials as part of an investigation into the origins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Russia probe. Graham said the decision will allow for amendments from Democrats, who argue the panel’s investigation is one of a handful of Senate probes into the Obama administration and former Vice President Joe Biden that are meant to help Trump’s re-election. (CBS News)

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