A watchdog report released Monday said General Services Administration chief Emily Murphy misled Congress over the White House’s involvement in its FBI headquarters plan, the Hill reports.
The report by the GSA’s inspector general also said officials at the agency misrepresented the costs of the plan to build a new downtown headquarters at the site on Pennsylvania Avenue at 9th street and that it would cost more to rebuild than it would to move headquarters operations to the Washington suburbs.
The GSA announced in February it would remain in Washington, D.C., despite recommendations it would be safer in another location, citing costs.
Murphy, during testimony in April, told the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government that direction for the project, “came from the FBI,” when asked by Rep. Mike Quiqley whether the president, “or anyone else at the White House was involved in those discussions, either with your predecessors, people you’re working with now, or yourself?”
“It was the FBI that directed to GSA as to what its requirements would be,” she told the Illinois Democrat. “We obviously did coordinate, given that it is a substantial budget request, we coordinated that request with OMB to provide for funding but the requirements were generated by the FBI.”
Murphy reportedly denied that she had sat down with President Donald Trump and other top White House officials ahead of the GSA’s decision, but the IG report said she met with Trump, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein and budget director Mick Mulvaney on Jan. 24.
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