10:54 GMT27 September 2020
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    Stephen Akard, director of the Office of Foreign Missions, began serving as acting head of the inspector general’s office in the interim, per Trump's recommendation in May, after the US president fired Steve Linick because he had lost full confidence in him.

    US Department of State Inspector General Stephen J. Akard has announced that he is leaving his post to return to the private sector, the department's spokesman said.

    In recent months, President Donald Trump has removed five inspectors generals and targeted four others for replacement with officials he perceives as more loyal to his administration’s agenda, according to media reports.

    Before being terminated in May, Inspector General Steve Linick was probing allegations that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had abused department resources and improperly approved an $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

    In May 2019, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in order to bypass Congress after opposition from lawmakers from both parties blocked the deal, citing the brutal Saudi-led intervention in Yemen’s civil war.

    Akard assumed the post of the United States director of the Office of Foreign Missions, a division within the Department of State, on 16 September 2019.

    Tags:
    Inspector General, U.S. Department of State, US State Department, United States
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