Working in Mike Pompeo’s State Department meant running personal errands for him and his family – everything from “booking salon appointments and private dinner reservations to picking up their dog and arranging tours for the Pompeos’ political allies.”
On Friday, Politico reported that the State Department’s inspector general’s office has completed an investigation that shows the Pompeos – both the former Secretary of State and his wife Susan – required a level of subservience that was inappropriate.
From the inspector general’s report, which was obtained by Politico:
…both Secretary and Mrs. Pompeo requested that the political appointee and other employees in the Office of the Secretary undertake work of a personal nature, such as picking up personal items, planning events unrelated to the Department’s mission, and conducting such personal business as pet care and mailing personal Christmas cards.
Pompeo cooperated with the investigation and told the State Department’s watchdog that the requests were akin to a “small simple task” and that it is “perfectly fine for friends to help each other.”
Of course, Pompeo was the head of the State Department and had vast powers over his subordinates. He had orchestrated the dismissal of a previous State Department inspector general, Steve Linick, when Linick opened up an investigation into misconduct at the agency.
The report indicates that Susan Pompeo leaned frequently on a “senior advisor,” who Politico identifies as Toni Porter.
Porter was tasked with many of the apparently personal requests. Investigators found that “on an almost daily basis since the start of the senior adviser’s employment, Mrs. Pompeo would email the senior adviser’s official department email account, asking her to undertake various tasks.”
Porter, a longtime Pompeo aide, followed him from Congress to the CIA and eventually to Foggy Bottom.
Pompeo’s lawyer, William Burck criticized the report and seemed to point blame away from Mike and toward Susan. “We had thought the time was long past that anyone would consider wives to be mere extensions of their husbands, but that antiquated and offensive view animates the entire draft report,” he wrote to Politico.
More from Politico:
Susan Pompeo, for instance, asked staff members to buy a T-shirt for a friend; arrange for flowers to be sent to friends recovering from sickness; and help her book hair salon appointments when she was in New York during the U.N. General Assembly and had to meet with foreign dignitaries. One year, a senior adviser to the secretary and a senior Foreign Service officer came in on a weekend “to envelope, address, and mail personal Christmas cards for the Pompeos,” the report states.
Pompeo was the second Secretary of State in the Trump administration. He is reportedly contemplating a presidential run in 2024.