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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.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise" — Two years of COVID-19 — Prior coronavirus infections may not protect well against Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Data demonstrates most-vaccinated counties less vulnerable to worst of COVID — Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate.
  4. World: Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles downWHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Vulnerable Democrats: Less Trump talk

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Vulnerable House Democrats are convinced they need to talk less about the man who helped them get elected: President Trump.

Why it matters: Democrats are privately concerned nationalizing the 2022 mid-terms with emotionally-charged issues — from Critical Race Theory to Donald Trump's role in the Jan. 6 insurrection — will hamstring their ability to sell the local benefits of President Biden's Build Back Better agenda.