By Jeff Mason and James Oliphant
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Saturday defended his decision to fire the top watchdog of the U.S. Intelligence Community, saying Michael Atkinson did “a terrible job” in handling the whistleblower complaint that triggered an impeachment probe of Trump last year.
“He took a fake report, and he brought it to Congress,” Trump said during a briefing on the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Late on Friday, the White House told Atkinson, the Intelligence Community’s inspector general, that he would be terminated from his position in 30 days.
He was a key figure in the run-up to impeachment, having found credible a complaint from a still-unnamed whistleblower within the administration that Trump abused his office in attempting to solicit Ukraine’s…