Trump supports Pompeo using government staff to wash his dishes if ‘his wife isn’t there’

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The Secretary of State has faced dual investigations by the department watchdog into whether he had staffers perform personal chores, and whether he looked to circumvent Congress in accelerating an arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

Trump spoke to reporters at the White House about the allegations of misuse of state employees.
He said: “Look, he’s a high quality person, Mike.

“He’s a very high quality, he’s a very brilliant guy.

“And now I have you telling me about dog walking, washing dishes and, you know what, I’d rather have him on the phone with some world leader than have him wash dishes because maybe his wife isn’t there or his kids aren’t there, you know.”

Despite Trump’s implication of multiple children, Pompeo and his wife only have one son.

It comes after Steve Linick, the State Department inspector general, was fired by President Trump last week.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday said that he asked President Donald Trump to remove State Department Inspector General Steve Linick because the independent watchdog was “undermining” the department and wasn’t performing in a way that the top US diplomat wanted him to.

Pompeo told the Washington Post: “I went to the President and made clear to him that Inspector General Linick wasn’t performing a function in a way that we had tried to get him to, that was additive for the State Department, very consistent with what the statute says he’s supposed to be doing

“The kinds of activities he’s supposed to undertake to make us better, to improve us.”

Mr Linick was investigating whether Pompeo made a White House staffer perform personal errands, such as walking his dog and picking up dry cleaning.

The alleged investigation was revealed by a Democratic aide to CNN on Sunday.

A senior State Department official previously confirmed to CNN that Pompeo recommended Linick be removed, but they did not know the reasons why.

Pompeo also refused to sit for an interview with Linick’s office as part of its probe into the administration’s move to bypass Congress and expedite last year’s $8 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia by declaring an emergency, a congressional aide told CNN Monday.

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Trump also said on Monday that he didn’t “know anything about” investigations into Pompeo, looking to dismiss the probe’s gravity in comparing it to the nation’s recovery efforts from coronavirus.

Trump said of Pompeo: “You mean he’s under investigation because he had somebody walk his dog from the government? “I don’t know, doesn’t sound, I don’t think it sounds like that important.”

“Maybe he’s busy, and maybe he’s negotiating with Kim Jong Un, OK, about nuclear weapons. So that he’d say, ‘Please, could you walk my dog? Do you mind walking my dog? I’m talking to Kim Jong Un.’

”Or, ‘I’m talking to President Xi about paying us for some of the damage they’ve caused to the world and to us, please walk my dog.’

“To who, a Secret Service person or somebody, right?”

In May 2019, the Trump administration declared emergency to bypass Congress and expedite arms sales worth billions of dollars.

The countries included Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and cited the need to deter “the malign influence” of Iran in the Middle East.

When pressed on whether Pompeo tried to subvert Congress’ will concerning the Saudi arms deal, Trump said: “I don’t think so.

“I mean, I think that when somebody pays us a fortune for arms, we should get the deal done, I will tell you that.”

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