WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has fired Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence community who handled the whistleblower complaint that triggered Trump's impeachment.
Trump informed the Senate intelligence committee Friday of his decision to fire Atkinson, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press. Trump said in the letter that it is “vital” that he has confidence in the appointees serving as inspectors general, and “that is no longer the case with regard to this inspector general.”
Atkinson was the first to inform Congress about an anonymous whistleblower complaint last year that described Trump's pressure on Ukraine to investigate Democrat Joe Biden and his son.
2 from Kennedy clan presumed dead
Authorities were conducting a “recovery” search for the daughter and a grandson of former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, after a canoe they were paddling in the Chesapeake Bay didn't return to shore, the family said Friday.
The missing relatives were identified as Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, and McKean's 8-year-old son, Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean. Kennedy Townsend, who served two terms as Maryland's lieutenant governor, is the eldest daughter of the late U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and niece of the late President John F. Kennedy.
Tycoon boosts Venezuela's fuel supply
With lines for fuel growing across Venezuela, a controversial shipping magnate has stepped in to prevent the country from running out, The Associated Press has learned.
Wilmer Ruperti's Maroil Trading Inc. provided state-owned oil monopoly PDVSA 12 million euros last month for the purchase of up to 250,000 barrels of 95-octane gasoline, according to a copy of the invoice obtained by AP. The gasoline was purchased from a Middle Eastern country, said two people familiar with the transaction who discussed the sensitive dealings only on condition of anonymity.
The fuel shortage, in the nation that sits atop the world largest crude reserves, is the latest threat to Nicolas Maduro's rule. Ruperti, a former oil tanker captain, has a history coming to the rescue of Venezuela's socialist government at critical junctures.
Singer had COVID-19, plans donations
The singer Pink had tested positive for COVID-19, she said Friday, also announcing that she is donating $500,000 each to two emergency funds.
In a pair of tweets, she said she and her 3-year-old son were displaying symptoms two weeks ago, and she tested positive after accessing tests through a primary care physician. Her family had already been sheltering at home and continued to do so, she said. They were tested again “just a few days ago” and were negative.