On Saturday’s edition of MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” former State Department adviser Nayyera Haq excoriated Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for his apparent use of his office for personal gain, including the “Madison Dinners” in which he lavishly entertained businessmen on the taxpayer’s dime.
“NBC News has a report on whether Mr. Linick was investigating these dinners,” said Joy Reid. “‘It’s unclear whether the inspector general was inspecting the Madison Dinners, but two administration officials told NBC News that Linick made some type of inquiry to the protocol office last week, before he was fired. One of the officials said Pompeo’s office was then notified.’ … your thoughts?”
“Let’s not forget where Secretary Pompeo comes from,” said Haq. “From Congress, and he rose up with the tea party. This is exactly the kind of thing that they decried: Using elite access to government with taxpayer dollars. I have never in my time in government heard of a harpist being brought in to entertain American bigwigs and CEOs. I mean, it’s gone well beyond farce at this point.”
“The inspector general was actually investigating at least three different things for Secretary Pompeo,” said Haq. “There was ignoring workplace violence from his protocol staff. There’s his own personal errands being run on taxpayer dime, and also, by congress directed itself, an investigation into whether or not the Saudi arms sales were completely out of order and out of line with U.S. foreign policy. So he’s already underwater prior to hosting these dinners, that really had nothing to do with economic diplomacy, which would be bringing CEOs overseas to try to help or boost in open markets American companies, or even public diplomacy which would be inviting ambassadors to build those networks and connections.”
“This is entirely self-serving, and as you said it’s just an extension of the grift we see coming from the White House,” said Haq. “It goes straight to the State Department as well.”