Ethics

Pompeo Has Been Holding Secret, Taxpayer Funded Campaign Dinners

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asked Trump to fire the State Department's inspector general, Steven Linick, because the latter was investigating Pompeo's own personal behavior and treatment of his staff and the regime's relationship with Saudi Arabi.

Trump fired Linick as requested and since then we've seen a slow trickle of news detailing Linick's investigations.

Multiple outlets reported last week that Linick was investigating Pompeo for asking State Department staff to do personal chores for him while NBC News reported this morning that Pompeo has been hosting taxpayer-funded campaign dinners using a slush fund intended to emergencies.

State Department officials involved in the dinners said they had raised concerns internally that the events were essentially using federal resources to cultivate a donor and supporter base for Pompeo's political ambitions — complete with extensive contact information that gets sent back to Susan Pompeo's personal email address. The officials and others who attended discussed the dinners on condition of anonymity. [...]

When the dinners started, two State Department officials said, concerns were raised to the State Department's legal adviser, who they said responded by saying events hosted by the secretary should be related to foreign policy. On Capitol Hill, several committees have also been looking into the dinners, congressional aides said.

A State Department spokesperson told NBC News that foreign policy was discussed at the expensive dinners, but only 14 percent those who attended the dinners were diplomats or foreign officials according to guest records. A majority of attendees were corporate represents and the rest have been a mix of Fox News hosts, country singers, a NASCAR driver, and anti-abortion activists among other people you may want to court if you're a Republican considering a run for higher office.

NBC News also reports that detailed contact information for all attendees was forwarded to Susan Pompeo's personal email account.

An anonymous White House official who spoke to NBC raised the prospect that Pompeo could be or would have been fired if Trump himself knew about Pompeo's secret campaign dinners.

Now, Pompeo's dinners look unethical, but if Trump ever considered firing Pompeo it would only be because he doesn't like the idea of Pompeo using his regime to prepare for a presidential run in 2024 when Trump himself or one of his children may consider running. Moreover, it appears that Pompeo asked Trump to fire Linick to protect his secret campaign.

Pompeo used the State Department’s "Emergencies in the Diplomatic and Consular Service Appropriation" slush fund to pay for these campaign dinners.

The chances that Pompeo will be fired over the summer may not be particularly high, but they're greater than zero.

  • muselet

    Grifters gotta grift.

    And the only reason Donald Trump would fire Mike Pompeo over this is because Trump didn’t get his cut.

    –alopecia

  • gescove

    His wife runs an unaccountable shadow staff. He bypasses Congress to sell arms to Saudi Arabia. He misuses taxpayer funded staff as personal man-servants. He misuses department funds, facilities, and staff to pimp his future political ambitions. He’s smug, arrogant, and convinced he answers to no one. These are all bad enough. But, when coupled with his unblemished record of foreign policy debacles (Ukraine, Syria, Kurds, North Korea, Iran), it makes Pompeo truly one of Trump’s “only the best”. Am I the only one who thinks he looks like a thumb with eyes in a suit?

    • muselet

      To my poor old eyes, he looks more like a potato, but yeah, a thumb works, too.

      –alopecia