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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

Go deeper

Aug 26, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Pompeo lauds Trump for "bold initiatives in every corner of the world"

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during his speech at the Republican National Convention Tuesday evening that he believes President Trump "has led bold initiatives in nearly every corner of the world" that have kept the U.S. safe.

The big picture: Pompeo's decision to deliver his speech from Jerusalem breaks from the precedent of America's top diplomats staying out of partisan battles — which has spurred an investigation for a possible violation of the Hatch Act.

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

8 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."