An off-the-record White House meeting with roughly two dozen conservative leaders Wednesday included explicit calls for President Trump to fire IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, according to a source in the room.
White House conservative liaison Paul Teller organized the meeting Wednesday between Trump staffers and leaders of conservative groups such as the Heritage Foundation and Judicial Watch.
Talk of Koskinen’s firing was part of a larger discussion on clearing out Obama-era personnel from the executive branch where possible, the source said.
The broad consensus among attendees was that Trump needs to clean out Obama-era bureaucrats if he is going to be successful in pushing through his agenda.
A White House official speaking on background confirmed that the issue of Koskinen’s firing was raised during the meeting.
Personnel decisions were just one part of the meeting, where White House staffers communicated to attendees Trump’s willingness to let the government shut down and make Democrats take the blame, according to the same source. (RELATED: Trump Open To Possible Government Shutdown)
Koskinen has been in conservatives’ sights for a while now over political targeting of conservative non-profit organizations by IRS employees.
Koskinen allegedly defied congressional subpoenas and preservation orders by allowing the destruction of potentially incriminating evidence on former IRS official Lois Lerner’s involvement in the targeting scandal.
The House of Representatives came close to impeaching Koskinen last winter, but stopped short of doing so.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called on Trump to replace Koskinen during an interview with The Hill in January. “I think he’s been a disaster and I’d be shocked if we don’t have a new one,” McConnell said.
Earlier this month, Iowa congressman Steve King wrote on Twitter that President Trump “needs to purge Leftists from executive branch before disloyal, illegal & treasonist [sic] acts sink [you].”