The Pompeos appear to have personally benefited from Mike Pompeo’s role as the Trump administration’s latest Secretary of State. NBC News has obtained a trove of Pompeo family-involved messages to and from State Department officials via a lawsuit filed under the Freedom of Information Act, and the messages reveal issues including Mike Pompeo’s wife, Susan, repeatedly seeming to use the State Department to complete personal requests. NBC says that the emails show “show that Susan Pompeo routinely gives instructions to State Department officials from her personal email address about everything from travel plans and restaurant reservations to the elite Madison Dinners,” the latter of which feature top political operatives as guests at the State Department.
There’s a foundational level of coordination between the Secretary of State’s family and State Department officials that could be expected in the name of goals like security for the Pompeos. However, some of the coordination extends well beyond these basic security-related concerns.
NBC says that “emails appeared to show State Department employees working at Susan Pompeo’s direction to organize parts of a multiday visit to Washington for members of the Kansas chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization and their families.” Mike Pompeo served as this group’s education chair for a whopping 15 years. This apparent official government logistics work on behalf of a private group that the Pompeos were involved with unfolded as speculation also swirled about a potential Mike Pompeo run for an open U.S. Senate seat in Kansas. NBC describes the Young Presidents’ Organization as “an elite global networking club for wealthy CEOs” — so its members could have helped boost a Pompeo Senate run.
Despite the fact that NBC obtained an email in which a State Department staffer clearly sends Susan Pompeo an itinerary for the Young Presidents Organization group, a Department spokesperson “disputed that employees planned the entire visit for the YPO group,” NBC says. Well — they did a lot! No matter the precise level of planning that the State Department employees did, it’s clear that the Pompeos tasked State Department staffers with personal and even political errands. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) characterized ongoing investigations into the Pompeos as handling the question of whether they used the State Department “as a personal travel agency or political exploratory committee.” Engel added that Pompeo has refused to sit for an interview with the State Department inspector general’s office about the issue.