American taxpayers have been footing the bill for private political dinners hosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife, according to a watchdog group.
The New York Times reports, “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has spent at least $43,000 in taxpayer funds to host a series of intimate dinners as he mulled his political future, according to a watchdog group that has sued the State Department for details of the events.”
The report indicates that just 14 percent of those who attended the events were “diplomats or foreign dignitaries,” while the majority were “conservative political officials” or “American business leaders.”
The dinners were raised by the State Department’s inspector general Steve Linick – before he was fired, of course – as a “possible misuse of official funds.”
More from The New York Times:
Mr. Pompeo and his wife, Susan, invited about 12 guests to each of the so-called Madison Dinners, held in a State Department reception room, according to documents released on Monday by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW. The guest lists for about two dozen of the dinners, held between 2018 and 2020, included American business leaders and conservative political officials.
Shortly before he was fired as the State Department’s inspector general, Steve A. Linick had asked about the Madison Dinners as part of an internal inquiry into possible misuse of official funds.
Pompeo used taxpayer dollars to position himself for a future political run
The dinners hosted by Pompeo seemingly had little to do with official State Department business and a lot to do with the secretary of state’s political ambitions.
As the report noted, not only is Pompeo considering a presidential run in 2024, but he is also a possible contender for a Kansas gubernatorial bid in 2022.
Imagine how quickly congressional Republicans would have scheduled hearings if then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was caught hosting political dinners on the taxpayer dime.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.