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Pompeo and his wife misused State Department funds: Watchdog

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan (AP file photo)

A US government watchdog has found that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan misused State Department funds by having staff carrying out personal tasks more than 100 times.

Pompeo and his wife asked employees in the Office of the Secretary to carry out tasks such as "picking up personal items, planning events unrelated to the Department's mission, and conducting such personal business as pet care and mailing personal Christmas cards," the State Department's Office of Inspector General (OIG) said in the report, which was published on Friday.

Pompeo served former Republican President Donald Trump's last secretary of state until January 20, when the winner of the 2020 disputed election, Joe Biden, a Democrat, sworn in as the new US president.

The finding is a blow for Pompeo who is seen as among a few of Republicans planning to run for the 2024 presidential election.

"The Pompeos made over 100 requests to employees in the office of the secretary to conduct work that appeared to be personal in nature," found the investigation, which was launched in October 2019 in response to a complaint that Pompeo and his wife were misusing State Department’s funds for personal purposes.

According to the report, Susan Pompeo also once requested an aide to make two hair salon appointments for her. On another occasion, an under secretary of state appeared to help the Pompeos' son secure a discount for a hotel room.

The watchdog said it had completed most of its fieldwork on the report by August 2020 but its complication was delayed because Pompeo refused to cooperate with the OIG until December last year.

A State Department spokesman said the agency concurred with "all the recommendations (in the report) and will proceed to implement them."


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