May 19, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump says it's OK for staffer to do Pompeo's dishes and walk his dog

President Donald Trump speaks as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens during a cabinet meeting

President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens during a cabinet meeting at the White House in October. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump said on Monday it'd be OK for a State Department employee to do Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's dishes as he'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."

Why it matters: An inspector general ousted by Trump last week was reportedly investigating whether Pompeo inappropriately used a staffer to perform personal chores, including dog walking, picking up dry cleaning and booking dinner reservations.

  • (Dishes are not noted as one of the chores Pompeo was allegedly being investigated for.)
  • Trump told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a letter last week that he moved to fire the IG, Steve Linick, because he "no longer" had the "fullest confidence" in him.

What they're saying: Trump said on Monday that he prioritizes Pompeo's professional responsibilities about the alleged staffer misuse.

  • "Maybe he's busy, and maybe he's negotiating with Kim Jong-un, OK, about nuclear weapons. So that he'd say, 'Please, could you walk my dog? Do you mind walking my dog? I'm talking to Kim Jong-un,'" the president said.
  • "Or, 'I'm talking to President Xi about paying us for some of the damage they've caused to the world and to us, please walk my dog,'" he added.

Go deeper: Pompeo says he wasn't aware ousted inspector general was investigating him

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