Politico reported last week that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been hosting secret, taxpayer-funded campaign dinners that are mostly attended by executives, lobbyists, and conservative celebrities during his time at the State Department, but his habits apparently didn't begin there.
Pompeo hosted similar dinners for groups of outsiders while he was the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) according to Politico, and this particular group of corporate types were given access to classified briefings.
And like his State Department dinners, Pompeo's wife was heavily involved in them.
The CIA declined to divulge the list of names on Pompeo’s board, but the former officials said they included billionaire entrepreneur Marc Andreessen; a top executive at global advertising agency McCann Worldgroup; former Republican House leader Eric Cantor, who is now vice chairman of investment bank Moelis & Company; and William Barr, who at the time served on the board of directors of Time Warner and is now the attorney general. Andreessen, Cantor, Barr and McCann Worldgroup did not return requests for comment.
The advisers also included a billionaire hotel magnate representing the hotel chain Hyatt, a billionaire tech CEO and venture capitalist, and the chairman of a large wealth management fund, a former official said.
“These were designed vanity experiences for the attendees, clearly designed to expand Pompeo’s network at government expense and under the rubric of a formal body,” said one former official. “They were not substantive and were solely designed to advance Pompeo’s potential funding and political network.” Pompeo’s wife, Susan, who is not a government official, was also involved in planning the events, according to three former officials.
The idea that someone within Trumpworld wants Pompeo taken off the board gained a little more credence with this report on his activities dating back several years. Pompeo was installed at the CIA by Trump in early 2017 and we're just now hearing about this.
Regardless of the motives of whoever is dishing details to the press, anyone else in another administration would be torched for this kind of behavior and not just because taxpayers paid for all of it. Politico reports that Pompeo also took his guests to at least one of the CIA's secret training facilities and I can't think of any reason why that needed to happen unless Pompeo was just trying to impress them.
I can't help but recall the time that former Representative Mike Pompeo spent most of an 11-hour hearing on Benghazi wearing his most shit-eating smirk as he repeatedly failed to lob gotcha questions about physical and information security at Hillary Clinton.
Show me a Republican official and I'll show you the deepest depths of hypocrisy.