Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has spent more than $40,000 of taxpayer money hosting state dinners, according to a government watchdog group that released documents on Monday on the costs.
The documents released by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) showed Pompeo and his wife Susan Pompeo hosted around two dozen Madison Dinners between 2018 and 2020, inviting about 12 guests each time.
CREW noted that Inspector General Steve Linick was fired by President Trump around the time he was investigating Pompeo for alleged misconduct. Linick had reportedly looked into one of the offices in charge of arranging the Madison Dinners.
Pompeo has said he did nothing wrong and that his actions were similar to past secretaries of State.
CREW called into question the cost and necessity of the dinners.
“The dinners’ connection to the mission of the State Department is highly questionable, as only 14 percent of invitees reportedly have been diplomats or foreign officials,” it said in a statement. “The vast majority have been from the private sector with no connection to the State Department’s foreign policy mission, such as Republican donors and conservative media figures.”
Pompeo is seen as having presidential aspirations of his own, though that would be complicated if President Trump decides to run for the White House in 2024.
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