Records obtained and released by the government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) have revealed some of the startling lengths to which the Pompeos went to shore up their own, personal interests while Mike Pompeo was on the job as Secretary of State. With his wife Susan, Mike hosted events called “Madison Dinners” at the government’s expense that featured short guest lists with high profile names from across the echelons of government and public life. For one single event, a guest list included country singer Jason Aldean and the Commander of the U.S. Special Forces, among others.
The newly revealed records include email messages from Susan Pompeo, who directly laid out some of the personal interests at stake in the Madison Dinners. In one message, she said that “[we] are already seeing connections and relationships form that wouldn’t have, but for these dinners.” That’s pretty direct! The newly available records also include items like a guest list for a February 2020 dinner featuring Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, Representative Elise Stefanik, the Vice President of Amazon Web Services, an MSNBC commentator, and the United States Ambassador to South Korea.
As CREW notes, “guest lists themselves make clear that the dinners were not meant for official business. But more correspondence shows that the Pompeos actually went out of their way to avoid government business.” Susan wrote at another point that Mike was “pretty adamant that he does NOT want two government people sitting next to each other.” Even when the onset of COVID-19 arrived, Susan Pompeo remained by all appearances committed to using government resources for personal endeavors, writing in an email message to staff that the “event calendar draw down represents great opportunities for us to think and plan our very best business ideas for future launch.”
The operations of the federal government are not supposed to be meant for the usage of people who seem more interested in playing metaphorical dress-up than in doing actual, substantive work. As CREW put it:
‘While we’ve come to accept that the Pompeos’ Madison Dinners were nothing more than taxpayer funded networking events, these previously unreported emails show just how unabashedly the Pompeos abused government resources, even when confronted with a global pandemic. While the world waits to see what Mike Pompeo’s next move is, it is clear he spent his time in the administration—and taxpayer dollars—preparing for it.’
Pompeo could be among the prominent Republicans to launch a bid for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination in the event that ex-President Trump doesn’t run — but Trump seems all-but-certain to run. Read more at this link.