Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is getting a lot of stick these days for his wife’s alleged habit of using State Department employees to run her errands, and then for getting his inspector general fired when said inspector general decided to generally inspect that practice. Now comes word that Pompeo also throws lavish dinners at taxpayer expense of questionable diplomatic value.
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.
That’s interesting, as we seem to recall a Rep. Mike Pompeo having some strong opinions about a secretary of state’s use of private e-mails, but no matter. What makes these deep-state State Department officials think something is amiss here?
The records show that about 29 percent of the invitees came from the corporate world, while about a quarter of them hailed from the media or entertainment industries, with conservative media members heavily represented. About 30 percent work in politics or government, and just 14 percent were diplomats or foreign officials.
OK, OK, sure: That looks bad. Maybe even worse than Ben Carson’s dinner plans. But before we go ahead and call Pompeo corrupt and an extraordinary hypocrite, just who are these invitees from the corporate world? Perhaps some of them have been improperly categorized.
The business moguls invited to the affairs include AOL co-founder Steve Case and Republican megadonors like Home Depot founder Ken Langone, hedge fund executive Paul Singer and Texas real estate tycoon Harlan Crow.
You see? Sure, Paul Singer is a major Republican donor and supporter (albeit belatedly) of Pompeo’s boss, but this is a man with real foreign policy heft. I mean, just consider his diplomatic approach to places like Argentina, China, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and South Korea. He has much to teach in this arena, and we’re absolutely certain that’s why he was invited and for no other reasons, just as we’re sure that Pompeo had Steve Linnick canned for whatever justification he’s currently refusing to give and not because of his interest in what Mrs. Pompeo was putting on the State Department corporate card.
Pompeo’s elite taxpayer-funded dinners raise new concerns [NBC News]
Susan Pompeo Draws Scrutiny in Inquiry Over Dry Cleaning and Dog Walking [NYT]
Pompeo Defends Firing of Inspector General, Denying It Was Retaliation [NYT]