NBC Never Had a Problem With Hillary Clinton's Pay-to-Play State Department but With Mike Pompeo Different Rules Apply

CIA director Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan Pompeo arrive for a State Dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron and President Donald Trump at the White House, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

One of the two hallmarks of Hillary Clinton’s State Department was corruption. (In case you were wondering, the other was stupidity.) Throughout her tenure as Secretary of State, when she wasn’t callously abandoning US State Department staff, including an ambassador, to cruel and needless death, she was essentially the development director for the Clinton Foundation. Time and again we find favorable State Department decisions can be directly tied to some Third World sh** hole paying Bill Clinton an exorbitant sum to speak or a timely and massive donation to the Clinton Foundation or its activities. And that feared watchdog of propriety, the State Department IG, didn’t even exist because one was never appointed.

 

The media attention to the obvious pay-to-play scam being run, when it happened, did not treat it as a systemic issue. Rather each incident of corruption, if covered at all, quickly disappeared. When The Federalist’s Sean Davis ran an exhaustive expose of Clinton Foundation finances and pointed out that it was nothing but a cash laundromat to fund Clinton staffers, it was not only ignored but derided for drawing the wrong conclusion.

The State Department under Mike Pompeo is different. Just last week, President Trump canned the State Department IG. The exact reason isn’t known but it was insinuated that the IG was about to break a big case involving Mike Pompeo asking a member of his personal staff, also a political appointee, to pick up his laundry and walk his dog. That’s some serious stuff. And we should all be glad we have a career civil servant drawing a six-figure salary to look into that. Read RedState coverage on it here:

Teeth Are Gnashed After Trump Fires State Department IG, Here’s the Real Story

Oh, About That IG ‘Wrongfully’ Fired by Mike Pompeo; Turns out Dems May Want to Hold Their Fire

Here’s What That IG Fired by Trump Was ‘Investigating’ Mike Pompeo Over

Yesterday, NBC News, which could never raise itself from its perpetual position of having its corporate lips firmly attached to Hillary Clinton’s more than ample, one could say Stacey-Abrams-esque derrière, ran a hit piece on Pompeo’s “Madison Dinners.” This is a program of dinners that Pompeo hosts for foreign officials, members of Congress, and leaders in business and industry. Here is the NBC set up:

An NBC News investigation found that Pompeo held about two dozen Madison Dinners since he took over in 2018. NBC News obtained a master guest list for every dinner through the end of 2019, as well as internal State Department calendars from before the pandemic emerged, showing that future dinners were on the books through at least October. The master list includes the names of nearly 500 invitees and specifies who accepted, although it is possible some people RSVP’d but didn’t show up in Foggy Bottom for dinner.

The records show that about 29 percent of the invitees came from the corporate world, while about a quarter of them hailed from the media or entertainment industries, with conservative media members heavily represented. About 30 percent work in politics or government, and just 14 percent were diplomats or foreign officials. Every single member of the House or the Senate who has been invited is a Republican.

The Madison Dinners, which aren’t disclosed on Pompeo’s public schedule, add another element to what his critics say is a pattern of pushing the edge of the envelope by using government resources for potential personal or political gain.

Steve Linick, who was abruptly fired Friday evening as the State Department’s inspector general, was investigating whether Pompeo made a political appointee carry out personal errands like walking his dog, NBC News reported.

It’s unclear whether the inspector general was also investigating the Madison Dinners, but two administration officials told NBC News that Linick made some type of inquiry to the protocol office last week, before he was fired. One of the officials said Pompeo’s office was then notified.

But the manner in which Pompeo has carried out the dinner series has raised concerns for State Department officials on multiple fronts, including the use of taxpayer dollars and the involvement of his wife.

Former officials said that it’s up to each secretary to decide how involved their spouses should be and that no regulation prohibits a spouse from playing the role of de facto social secretary. Susan Pompeo, who isn’t a government official, was also known to play an active role when Pompeo was CIA director, and although he has called her a “force multiplier,” her presence on official State Department trips has raised questions before.

In the Madison Dinners, Susan Pompeo’s role is central. Emails obtained by NBC News show her communicating directly with State Department officials, setting guest lists and dates to be put on the calendar for dinners, and arranging menu choices.

This whole episode had produced one epic moment. Bob “I thought that Dominican hooker looked at least 17” Menendez, criticized Pompeo’s ethics and Pompeo didn’t take it laying down:

Boom: Sec. of State Mike Pompeo Thoroughly Cancels Sen. Bob Menendez’s ‘Ethics Guidance’ on IG Firing

Bottom line: the dinners are legal and none of the critics say otherwise. The concerns are that a) the State Department bureaucracy, which seems implacably opposed to Pompeo, is cut out of the planning, b) that Pompeo is making contacts that he may be able to use to further his political ambitions, and c) that his wife is too involved.

This is nonsense.

Two things become abundantly clear from this story, though. First, the State Department IG had a personal focus on discrediting Pompeo and because nothing really important was wrong, he had to invent dog-walking and the role of Susan Pompeo in planning dinners. Second, the Democrats and their media allies are terrified of Mike Pompeo.