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The memo reveals the State Department’s dispute over travel by Susan Pompeo



“Rejecting the invitation could now be seen as a lack of courtesy, but there is no significant foreign policy interest other than the issue of courtesy,” the Middle East Bureau, which oversees the Middle East, said on a six-page page. memo. The document was dated January 7, 2019, the same day the journey began.

Despite the reservations made by the Middle East Authority, the memorandum marked as “sensitive but not classified” recommends that Susan Pompeo’s travel allowance be approved and paid in part from state resources. It was not clear whether Secretary of State John Sullivan, to whom the remark was addressed, had then formally withdrew or not. Susan Pompeo set out with her husband.

The memorandum sheds new light on the unusual and controversial role Susan Pompeo has played in the State Department since her husband took over as US chief diplomat in April 201

8. Susan Pompeo has been an unusually active husband, so much so that the State Department investigates the Office of the Inspector General. her husband misused public resources.

Mike Pompeo has strongly advocated his wife’s behavior in the past, rejecting criticism of her status as “sexist” and “badly dated and offensive.” In a statement on Thursday, the spokesman said that “the legal and ethical team of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has decided that Mrs. Pompea’s role in this journey supported the foreign policy goals of our country set by the administration. “

“As Secretary-General Politico has already explained,” the spokeswoman said, “Ms Pompeo is providing a huge boost to our diplomatic mission by meeting the spouses of new foreign service officers, talking to families who are primarily overseas, and ensuring that foreign diplomats and their the couple has always been treated kindly and cordially, reflecting America’s best tradition. “

Sullivan, who is currently the US ambassador to Russia, did not respond to a request for comment.

The Pompeos trip in January 2019 lasted eight days and included Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Oman. On her journey, Susan Pompeo fulfilled one of the predictions of the memorandum: “There is a risk that Ms. Pompeo’s travel during the outage could attract media attention and potential criticism at Congresses and elsewhere.”

Certainly, there have been several reports in which unnamed American diplomats have persecuted the idea that they will have to serve the secretary’s wife, even though they face further differences and late payments.

However, the secretary insisted that having a wife with him was good for morale and America’s foreign position. He called it a “force multiplier” and noted that she had visited the families of American diplomats to get an idea of ​​their quality of life.

Former State Department officials have mixed feelings about whether it is good to have a wife and a secretary, although everyone acknowledges that this is not without precedent. Some who support the idea argue that the overall cost is minimal, especially if there is space on the plane and the secretary and wife share a room.

Foreign service experts claim that there is no clear budget line in the appropriations accounts to cover the expenses of the Secretary of State’s spouse. However, the lawyers who helped draft the memorandum noted that there were provisions to allow US funds to be used when the secretary’s family member was acting in a “representative” capacity, and that Susan Pompeo’s stops in Cairo and Abu Dhabi would qualify.

According to several lines in the report attributed to the Middle East office, the invitations to Susan Pompeo were “expanded and accepted”. Invitations were extended in 2018; these events included dinners and meetings with the country’s minister of youth and culture.

The trip of January 2019, which solved the problem even more, was to stop the government. The closure was triggered by President Donald Trump’s battle with Congress to finance the construction of a wall along the southern border.

The memorandum will be deeply immersed in what would cover part of the travel taxpayers of the Susan Pompeo travel agency – the costs associated with Abu Dhabi and Cairo were, in principle, significant. But it is also clear that Pompeii must pay personally for a few more pieces of Susan Pompeii’s journey.

The announcement does not state the exact costs and the state ministry did not respond to POLITICO’s previous requests for details of how much money Pompeos had spent on the trip to the Middle East.

Some former top officials who examined the notification at POLITICO’s request were most affected by the carefully calibrated sentences of the Middle East Office. They said they indicated clear differences in the question of whether Susan Pompeo should embark on a journey, but hesitant to turn this question into a complete internal struggle.

In a memorandum, Foreign Secretary Executive Ken Kenna – Supreme Assistant Mike Pompeo – argued that Susan Pompeo’s presence in the United Arab Emirates and Egypt met spending requirements during the outage, as invited by government ministers “reflecting the importance of the events to strengthen bilateral ties “.

This was one of the points on which the Presidency for Middle Eastern Europe differed, saying: “there is no significant foreign policy interest here other than the issue of courtesy.”

The head of the office at the time was David Satterfield, a ten-year career member of the U.S. Foreign Service. He is now the US Ambassador to Turkey. He did not respond to a comment request.




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