Trump Defends Pompeo For Forcing State Department Staffer To Wash Dishes: ‘Maybe His Wife Isn’t There’
On Monday, President Donald Trump said he would be fine with staffers doing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo‘s personal chores to allow him to do his job efficiently.
Earlier last week, Pompeo asked the president to fire Inspector General of the Department of State Steve Linick, who had launched a dual investigation into whether the Secretary of State was asking his staff to run personal errands and sidestep Congress to accelerate the U.S. government’s arms deal with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Trump promptly fired Linick, adding that he had never met him, but completely trusted Pompeo.
When asked by a reporter to comment on Pompeo’s request, he reminded the audience that the Secretary “is a high-quality person” and “a very brilliant guy.”
Trump refrained from commenting on the Saudi Arabia deal, but made some remarks on the allegation that Pompeo was using his staff for private chores.
“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,” Trump said.
On Sunday, a Democratic aide told CNN that Linick was investigating whether Pompeo had told staffers to walk his dogs, pick up dry cleaning, and make a dinner reservation for him and his wife.
When asked by Linick to report on the $8 million deal with Saudi Arabia, Pompeo refused and asked Trump to fire him. Earlier this year, the Trump administration said that it would increase efforts to speed up the arms deal to impede Iran’s “malign influence.”
Trump spoke little about Pompeo’s investigation into the Saudi deal, saying that he did not think the secretary was trying to circumvent Congress. “I don’t think so. I mean, I think when somebody pays us a fortune for arms, we should get the deal done,” he said. “I will tell you that.”