President Donald Trump has been extremely upset with the government watchdogs in his administration for what he believes to be partisan attacks. Now, he’s taking action to replace them.
After dismissing the intelligence community inspector general (ICIG) earlier this year, the president has finally submitted a nominee to the Senate to fill the role permanently, the Washington Examiner reports: National Security Council (NSC) official Allen Souza.
According to the Examiner, Souza previously served as an aide to House Intelligence Committee Republicans.
The White House revealed the news of his nomination in a statement Wednesday that named “Allen Robert Souza, of North Carolina, to be Inspector General of the Intelligence Community.”
Trump makes his move
Over the course of President Trump’s first term, several investigations have been launched by inspectors general that have drawn considerable scrutiny, with some calling them partisan. But Trump isn’t letting it slide anymore.
The president is cleaning house and putting in place inspectors general that will restore the offices to their once-neutral positions.
Souza, for his part, is just a piece of that effort. And he’s uniquely qualified for the job, according to the Trump administration.
“Mr. Souza helps coordinate the intelligence programs of the United States Government, focusing on intelligence collection activities and covert action programs, and advises senior White House and NSC officials on intelligence and intelligence-related activities,” the White House said of his current role in a statement this week, according to the Washington Examiner.
“Tough, fair, and thorough”
If approved, Souza will take over for acting ICIG Thomas Monheim. Monheim took over for Inspector General Michael Atkinson, who was terminated in April, according to the Examiner.
Atkinson’s termination created significant blowback in Congress, even among some Republicans.
Things have calmed down considerably, but we still expect Democrats to attack this nomination and to portray Souza as nothing more than a Trump lackey. In the meantime, however, those in the GOP are doing their best to talk the new nominee up.
“On the Intelligence Committee, Allen Souza was an excellent staff leader who constantly pressed for rigorous oversight of the Intelligence Community,” California Rep. Devin Nunes (R) said in an interview with Washington Examiner. “With deep knowledge of the complexities of producing intelligence, he will make a tough, fair, and thorough inspector general.”