Patterico's Pontifications

5/28/2020

Pompeo’s Former Staffers Asked To Sign Letter Supporting Him Against Alleged Smear Campaign

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:50 pm



[guest post by Dana]

Last week, Mike Pompeo laughingly dismissed any claims of violating House rules and standards by having his staff run personal errands for him:

“I’ve seen the various stories that — like, someone was walking my dog to sell arms to my dry cleaner,” the secretary said, laughing. “I mean, it’s all just crazy. It’s all crazy stuff.”

But one week later:

The senior adviser central to the investigation into allegations that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used an employee to run personal errands is now leading the charge to find support among former staffers against what they describe as a “smear campaign,” NBC News has learned.

Shortly before he was fired, State Department Inspector General Steve Linick was looking into allegations that Pompeo senior adviser Toni Porter was asked to walk the secretary’s dog, pick up his laundry and make dinner reservations for him and his wife, Susan, NBC News reported.

The State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual prohibits using the office for personal benefit. Pompeo has denied knowledge of the investigation.

But in an email sent Saturday and obtained by NBC News, Porter and Jim Richardson, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s director of foreign assistance, asked Pompeo’s former congressional staffers to sign a letter in solidarity against the “unfounded attacks,” claiming that a “smear campaign” had been launched against the secretary…

“In our time working with them, Mike and Susan never expressed that a task was so trivial or mundane as to be beneath them,” says the letter, which was obtained by NBC News. “In fact, any task worth doing in the Pompeo organization was worth doing with maximum effectiveness — because that’s what the constituents deserved.”

Obviously, just because one feels that a task is not trivial, or mundane, or beneath doing does not mean that the official isn’t violating the House rules by requesting staff members complete said tasks.

Reportedly, 23 former staffers have signed the letter in support of Pomepeo. However, a fear of retribution might have compelled some to sign:

[A] source familiar with the situation said one former employee of the secretary felt compelled to sign the letter for fear of retribution from his former boss. According to a source familiar with the staffer’s experience, the staffer said that in their experience, the claims that “Mike picked up his own dry cleaning” and “bought his own lunch,” as detailed in the letter, were inaccurate.

While in Congress, Pompeo often asked the staffer to perform personal tasks, a source familiar with the former employee’s experience told NBC News.

The tasks included driving him to congressional events, taking his car through the car wash and filling up his truck and car with gas, on top of fetching his lunch, the source said, adding that the retrieval of Pompeo’s shirts and suits was a task the aide carried out both during and after hours.

–Dana

6 Responses to “Pompeo’s Former Staffers Asked To Sign Letter Supporting Him Against Alleged Smear Campaign”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (0feb77)

  2. The whole idea of a support letter is idiotic.

    Either Pompeo corruptly used a taxpayer-supported aide for his personal errands or he didn’t.

    It’s a question of fact, not a matter of opinion.

    Dave (1bb933)

  3. Pompeo is just another crap-weasel in the out-house.

    Ragspierre (d9bec9)

  4. Or, maybe they actually believe it? He hired them for a reason, and one of those was likely a coincidence of interests. I guess if one assumes evil, one will find evil.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  5. It’s a question of fact, not a matter of opinion.

    So, Dave is accused by a student of rape while they were alone together in Dave’s office. There is no physical evidence. Dave asks his students for their support, signing a letter which states this would be so completely unlike Dave. We could call it a “character reference.” Do you suppose that’s a thing?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  6. And like all character references, it isn’t evidence. Nor are anonymously-sourced news articles, but we get those, too.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)


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