Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump leans into foreign policy amid domestic disapproval Afghanistan, Taliban launch US-brokered peace talks Spinning good news on arms control MORE‘s wife asked top State Department staffers to work the week of Christmas in order to finish their personal holiday cards, according to newly revealed emails obtained by McClatchy.
Susan Pompeo used a personal email to write to a longtime aide and State Department employee Toni Porter, asking for help with the cards.
“I see that you are out of the office all next week,” she wrote to Porter on Dec. 19, 2019, according to McClatchy. “Do you know, is Joe also out? I’m wondering if we are sending the last of our personal cards out, who will be there to help me. Mike will not want to go outside you and Joe for this assistance.”
McClatchy reports that Porter, who is an adviser to Pompeo, forwarded the email to another senior State Department official, who volunteered to help but replied with a warning: “I’d worry about asking others for personal things.”
The newly revealed emails come as the House Foreign Affairs Committee has for months been investigating the circumstances surrounding the abrupt firing of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick.
Democrats charge that Linick’s ouster may have been an act of political retaliation because the watchdog was conducting at least two investigations into Pompeo’s conduct — the secretary’s use of an emergency declaration to sell more than $8 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan without congressional approval, and whether Pompeo and his wife misused federal resources for personal benefit.
Pompeo and President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump slams Nevada governor at rally, takes aim at mail-in voting Former NFL coach Mike Holmgren slams Trump pandemic response, throws support to Biden Watch Live: Trump rallies supporters in Nevada MORE have repeatedly asserted there was no wrongdoing. Pompeo has specifically said he was unaware that the inspector general was investigating his and his wife’s use of federal funds and has defended his call for Linick’s ousting, saying the watchdog was a “bad actor.”
On Friday, testimony from the House Committee’s probe was released showing that Porter felt “uncomfortable” about the holiday card request.
In a statement to McClatchy, the State Department responded to the reports.
“It is not a revelation that Mrs. Pompeo, like all the spouses of our dedicated diplomats, is a tremendous force multiplier for our diplomatic mission,” the statement said. “We are beyond proud and honored to have Mrs. Pompeo, and all diplomatic spouses, give so much time, voluntarily, to ensure we here at State are One Team with One Mission. All her service is not only legal, but admirable.”