Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is using diplomatic security detail as his 'UberEats with guns.'
A whistleblower has tipped off House Democrats that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is using his diplomatic security detail — paid for by taxpayers — to run his personal errands.
On Tuesday, CNN reported that a State Department employee had made multiple reports to congressional aides about Pompeo's outrageous behavior. Congressional investigators asked CNN not to identify which committee is looking into the allegations.
The whistleblower told Congressional investigators that in April, a diplomatic security agent was tasked with picking up Chinese takeout for Pompeo — even though Pompeo wasn't with them. Pompeo also asked his diplomatic security detail to pick up his family dog from the groomer.
Dismayed, some agents have started to refer to themselves as "UberEats with guns."
Allegedly, diplomatic security agents also provide private transportation for Pompeo's family members. Congressional investigators showed CNN a document detailing that earlier this year, a member of Pompeo's staff asked diplomatic security to fetch his adult son from Union Station and bring him to Pompeo's house.
Running errands is not part of the job description of a diplomatic security agent. Those agents are sworn federal law enforcement personnel responsible for the protection of the secretary of state and foreign service personnel, property and sensitive information. They do things like conduct background and counter-terrorism investigations, assess security threats against United States officials, and respond to emergencies.
The issue isn't just that the agents are told to do menial tasks that are outside their job description. The whistleblower also reported that "there is a culture within Diplomatic Security to try and please the secretary and avoid upsetting him."
Moreover, it appears that the agents may have been ordered to protect Pompeo's wife, Susan, even when she is at home in the United States. That's in spite of the fact that there is no specific threat against her. A former diplomatic security official explained to CNN that spouses aren't covered under the security detail unless there's a particular and documented risk, and then they are protected only for a "short, specific period of time."
This misuse of resources is somewhat of a hallmark for members of Trump's cabinet. Former Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke used taxpayer money intended to cover fighting wildfires to take a helicopter ride around Nevada. Scott Pruitt, Trump's one-time EPA Administrator, had to step down after racking up an impressive variety of ethical violations ranging from misspending millions of taxpayer dollars on imaginary security threats to getting a sweetheart apartment deal from a lobbyist
Trump's entitled and shady behavior has consistently trickled down to his Cabinet, creating a culture of graft and lawlessness. Pompeo is just the latest version.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.