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State Department claimed it was ‘necessary to national security’ for Pompeo’s wife to go on a junket: report

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The wife of the Secretary of State is once again embroiled in an ethics scandal.

“As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepared to tour the Middle East last year, senior State Department officials debated whether they could legally justify his wife Susan’s desire to travel with him,” Politico reported Thursday. “Susan Pompeo had been invited to events in two capitals, Cairo and Abu Dhabi, by foreign officials. But circumstances had grown complicated: a U.S. government shutdown meant the State Department had to be exceptionally careful with spending, and her presence would incur some costs to taxpayers.”

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“The discussions resulted in a memo, obtained this week by POLITICO, in which some senior State Department officials argued Susan Pompeo’s travel was in the ‘foreign policy interests of the United States’ and ‘necessary to national security,’ while diplomats who deal with Middle East policy disagreed,” Politico explained.

The memo was labeled as “sensitive but unclassified.”

“The memo sheds new light on the unusual, and controversial, role Susan Pompeo has played at the State Department since her husband took over as America’s chief diplomat in April 2018,” Politico noted. “Some former top department officials who reviewed the memo at POLITICO’s request were most struck by the carefully calibrated sentences from the Middle East bureau. They said it indicated clear divisions about whether Susan Pompeo should go on the trip but a hesitation to turn the issue into an all-out internal battle.”

In 2019, the Pompeos were caught in a scandal over reportedly using Secret Service agents as “UberEats with guns” for running errands for the couple. That resulted in an investigation by the State Department Inspector General, who Trump then fired.

Susan Pompeo also received criticism for her role in arranging secret dinners with CEOs and right-wing media.

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Veteran Republican operative shames the GOP — and warns they won’t get rid of Trumpism ‘for at least a generation’

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Stuart Stevens is a veteran Republican campaign operative from five presidential races. When he spoke to PBS's Judy Woodruff Wednesday, he lamented the GOP failed the moral test it was presented with Donald Trump.

"Well, I think there's been two strains in the party. Call it an Eisenhower strain going back to the '50s and a McCarthy strain," Stevens said, recalling when the GOP would talk about expanding their party and bringing in more African-American voters. "Now we don't even hear any talk anymore of a big tent. And we seem to have settled into a very comfortable white grievance identity."

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Seth Meyers mocks Trump’s Axios interview where he ‘couldn’t even remember his own BS — that’s how fried his brain is’

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In his response to President Donald Trump's bizarre interview with Axios reporter Jonathan Swan, "Late Night" comedian Seth Meyers explained the Trump interview in a single photo:

"You know something has gone horribly wrong when a journalist interviewing the president looks like that," said Meyers. "That's the face you make when your dad gets drunk and decides to tell you about the night you were conceived."

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Former Trump ambassador tells Rachel Maddow ‘it’s a big red flag’ that Trump is trying to hide investigation of Turnberry scam

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Former acting ambassador to the U.K., Lewis Lukens, told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow that the inspector general raised questions to him and embassy staff in the U.K. about President Donald Trump's demand for the ambassador to lobby for the British Open to be hosted at Trump's golf course in Scotland.

According to Lukens, he told those questioning how to go about getting the British Open at Trump Turnberry, and Lukens said he was clear that it was "unethical" and "possibly illegal." Still, Trump's cronies persisted.

He explained that when the inspector general did the investigation they went back to Washington to write up the report and that it should have been released by now, but it obviously has not. Today, the acting IG, who took over just three months ago, abruptly resigned.

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