WASHINGTON – Less than three months after Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo was sworn in, his son Nick arrived, thanks to private department officials he and his mother Susan Pompeo gave at the agency’s in-house museum. .
Nick Pompeo wrote, “I want to strengthen my will to help you in any way you can.” “We see it as a family effort, so if you think there’s any place where I can add value, don’t hesitate to reach out.”
He also had a question: Could he or the software company for which he was a sales executive be involved in the upcoming “data hackathon” event that the State Department was planning? In an email, he asked for details about dates, times, volunteer opportunities, and “how I or anyone in my company can help.”
The State Department said Pompeo’s company did not join Hackathon, an educational program focused on computer programming skills. But the request, which was included in hundreds of pages of emails received by NBC News, highlights how Pompeios has repeatedly blurred the lines between official government business and domestic or personal affairs.
Both Congress and the State Department Inspector General are investigating potential misuse of government resources by Mike Pompeo and his wife.
The email shows that Susan Pompeo regularly instructs State Department officials about travel plans and restaurant reservations ranging from her personal email address to the Elite Madison dinner that NBC News reported in May.
Many cases involve logistics such as scheduling and scheduling official events, in which any administration coordinates with the secretary’s spouse. But other requests, such as seeking assistance in planning a multi-party trip for an elite group of young officers from Kansas, appear directly connected to furthering the State Department’s core mission.
They include requests for Pompeos rental housekeeping requests at a Washington-area military base, which Susan appears to be routing through the Pompico State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service. The emails show special agents from the Secretary of State’s Department of Safety updating the HVAC system in 2018 and Susan Pompeo about repairing porches and stairs in 2019.
“The dryer is not bent over … I think you told me someone was coming to fix it?” Susan Pompeo said in September 2018 via text message to a State Department official whose name has been rewritten. “Ma’am – on this, I was told that it has been fixed. I should answer you this,” the officer replied within hours of the email. Later.
To ensure that, diplomatic security officers, whose mandate includes the security of the Secretary, have valid reasons, they can be kept in the loop about workers who need to reach their home. But Pompeo’s unusual housing arrangement, in which he rents military accommodation, is normally reserved for flag officials for an undisclosed sum, has previously raised questions.
A State Department spokesman said on condition of anonymity, “Diplomatic security establishes all protocols and specifications for security based on threat levels.” “Mrs Pompeo has been instructed to contact diplomatic security before any non-family member enters her home.”
The emails, all of which were sent to or to State Department officials, were given to NBC News in response to a lawsuit filed under the Right to Information Act, which is still pending. NBC News requested an email linked to Susan Pompeo’s Gmail address last November.
Emails are heavily redrafted, citing the FOIA exemption for personal privacy. In an email from September 2019, with the subject line “5 days guest schedule”, the only word in the entire email that has not been newly created is sign-off, “Best.”
Stephen Gillers, who teaches law and ethics at New York University School of Law, said Susan Pompeo’s use of personal email to address social aspects of her role as the secretary’s spouse was “mindless”, but not a violation Happened. Rules of morality.
“There are definitely ‘optics’ issues here. It may seem that Pompeo is using the office to reconcile others with future supporters in the 2024 White House race,” said Gillers. Still, he said, “I don’t think they used the office for financial gain.”
Pompeo has defended his wife’s high-profile role in the State Department, describing her as a “force multiplier”, even as US diplomats use her government resources and her frequent presence on official foreign visits Have expressed concern about This week, Susan Pompeo is tagging as secretary to India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Maldives.
As a member of Congress from Kansas, Pompeo became one of the most powerful critics of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the use of private emails to conduct government business, telling CNN in 2015, “He is in these places Thi is the benefit of the State Department’s security system. “
Before the election next week, Pompeo has used his perch as secretary on President Donald Trump’s demand to try to further release Clinton’s emails for more than six years.
Yet on one occasion, in October 2018, when Pompeo’s office sent him an advance schedule including a non-republican notice – such as a breakfast with CIA Director Gina Haspel, a secure phone call with Nikki Haley, then in the United Nations. Susan Pompeo’s Gmail address was copied over the email from the US ambassador, and from the exact travel time and office, which has been partially redrafted and includes a sign indicating that it contains a private identification Qualified information is included.
When the public version of Pompeo’s program for the day was later released, the only item on it was an afternoon meeting with the Cypriot Foreign Minister.
“A State Department employee who sent this email acted appropriately and we have no security concerns about the practice,” the department spokesperson said in response to an inquiry about the email.
During his years as Trump’s top diplomat, Pompeo has nurtured his political connections to his home state, Kansas, through frequent visits and interviews with local radio stations – so much so that it sparks intense speculation That he will run for the Senate this year. And the editorial board of The Kansas City Star urged him to “quit his important day job and do so.”
As speculation was rife about a possible Senate run in 2019, the email revealed that State Department staffers are working under the direction of Susan Pompeo, a member of the Kansas Chapter of the Young President’s Organization and their families in Washington. Work to organize parts of a multiday visit.
The Young President’s Organization, or YPO, is an elite global networking club for wealthy CEOs under 45. Both Pompeo and his wife are former members. In a Senate questionnaire submitted in December 2016 for his confirmation as Senate director, Pompeo stated that he was the group’s education chair for more than 15 years.
Emails about the YPO Yatra are from March, April and June 2019. They include a subject line “A Couple Projects”, in which Susan Pompeo compiled a list of tasks for employees, including a label called “YPO Kansas Family College”.
“Can you send me an update on this project ASAP?” He asked.
The next day, the anonymous employee responded with an “overview / update” about the YPO trip. Itinerary: US Holocaust Memorial Museum on Wednesday, dinner and a tour at the International Spy Museum on Thursday and Breakfast for 70 at the State Department on Friday.
“Library of Congress Tour confirmed for the group. Still working on details for the itinerary / breaking into small groups, etc.” The government employee wrote back.
The email suggests that Friday’s breakfast was hosted in neoclassical Thomas Jefferson State reception room, involving a high-level State Department official or HR representative to speak about “internships and careers” . Guests were to be given the “Swagger Button”, a reference to Pompeo re-presenting the agency as the “Swagger Department”. Pompeo later Tweeted About the incident.
A State Department spokesman said that the department has not paid for breakfast and is disputed that employees have planned the entire trip for the YPO group.
Pompeo’s conduct as secretary has been increasing since May, when he had Inspector Steve Linnick, the State Department’s independent watchdog, who fired. It later surfaced that Linnick had several investigations underway regarding Pompeo and his office, which the Office of Inspector General, or OIG, has continued following Linnick’s expulsion under a series of Acting Inspectors.
Eliot Engel, DN.Y., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Pompeo is adamant on whether he has used the State Department “as a private travel agency or political search committee”.
“My office recently confirmed that Mr. Pompeo is refusing to give OEG an interview in an investigation into the misuse of resources by himself and his wife,” Engel said. “I believe he is trying to run away from the clock and evades investigators until he leaves. The State Department and the Office of the Inspector General did not immediately comment on that claim.
Secretary’s adviser Tony Porter, who also worked for her in the CIA and Congress, told the House in August that she was Susan Pompeo’s primary point of contact with the State Department. She reported that her tasks included helping with dinner reservations and Pompeos’ personal Christmas cards, but said she only took “direction” from Susan Pompeo, not “tasks”.
“The job assigned to me is that of the secretary,” Porter testified. “At times Mrs. Pompeo relied on that work.”
An October 2019 email obtained by NBC News shows Susan Pompeo and State Department officials planning a trip to Athens, Greece. Susan Pompeo joined her husband on an official diplomatic visit to Greece, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia and the Holy See.
“Decision Point: Would you like the Jewelry Museum or the Art Museum with Merava,” an email to Susan Pompeo, wife of Greek Prime Minister Kyrikos Mitsotakis, to read.
In the email, Pompeos has been told of any perception of using the office to do special favors for politically connected people, including the Madison Dinner, with potential optics issues at which Pompeios called Republican lawmakers, The CEO and Supreme Court judges have hosted a grand evening paid by the taxpayer.
In March 2019, Susan Pompeo wrote to an unnamed officer in the Secretary’s Office that she wrote about the “Department of Mike” visit to the State Department “for guests at the Madison Dinner” and “VIP tours”. Conversation “, which was ongoing although visits to the public were ongoing.
Susan Pompeo wrote, “Starting immediately, they should be called ‘Private Tours’.” “All citizens are VIP / important.”