'Middle finger to the US Congress': Bush ethics lawyer blasts Pompeo for spending taxpayer funds on his dog
Richard Painter on MSNBC. (Screenshot)

On Monday, CNN reported that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been using the Secret Service as errand boys to pick up his food, transport his dog, and basically do little odds and ends for him at taxpayer expense.

On CNN's "OutFront," former George W. Bush ethics lawyer Richard Painter excoriated Pompeo for his abuse of power. "This is the first time I have heard of the United States government providing an armed escort for a dog coming home from the groomer," he said. "They might as well go [all in] for this and give the dog a full motorcade to the secretary's house, I guess."

"This is just what we've seen more and more of in this administration, whether it's Secretary Pruitt over at the Environmental Protection Agency, the administrator there, who had his tactical pants and his James Bond phone booth, or the Secretary of the Interior flying around at public expense, and the Treasury Secretary going on his honeymoon on an aircraft paid for by the taxpayer," said Painter. "It goes on and on, and they're not going to stop in this administration. It's illegal, they know it, but they don't have to stop because the president won't fire them, he won't enforce the law."

"If I listed every official in this administration who's misused government funds, I'd take up your show and the next show after it," Painter continued angrily. "It goes on and on, and the message is clear from the top, from Donald Trump: You don't have to follow the rules. He's not complying with the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution ... Kellyanne Conway's allowed to violate the Hatch Act over and over again. They get a letter from the Office of Special Counsel, they put it in the trash basket. They get a subpoena from the United States House of Representatives, they put that in the trash basket and show the middle finger to the United States Congress."

"This is not going to stop until the House impeaches the president," Painter concluded. "It's going throughout the administration. and this is a very small thing compared to what else is going on in this administration."

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