U.S. Secretary of state Peng Peio used taxpayer money to host dinner parties and entertain politicians, business people, media and entertainers after he was revealed as secretary of state Tuesday. Some US media believe that these dinners are held by pompeio to realize his personal political ambitions. After this incident was exposed by the media, the public opinion rebounded greatly and there were four criticisms.
“Madison dinner” of pompeio Edition: only 14% of the invitees are from the diplomatic community
According to novel coronavirus pneumonia, NBC has held a dinner with his wife Susan since 2018 as secretary of state, and has been held 24 times until March, due to the outbreak of the new crown pneumonia. The dinner was not disclosed on the public agenda of pompeio. An internal schedule from the State Department before the outbreak obtained by NBC shows that the dinner will last at least until the end of October.
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These dinners are called “Madison dinners.”. James Madison is the fourth president and the fifth Secretary of state of the United States. During his tenure, he has the habit of inviting foreign diplomats to exchange ideas at dinner parties.
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△ invitation letter of “Madison dinner party” of pompeio Edition (picture source: NBC)
The database of dinner invitees obtained by NBC details the name, title, spouse, eating habits of each invitee and the date of invitation and acceptance. The database will be operational from July 2018 until the beginning of 2020.
According to the report, at the “Madison dinner party” in pompeio, about 29% of the invitees were from the business community, including Texas real estate tycoons and hedge fund managers. About 23% of the invitees are from the media and entertainment industry, of which conservative media accounts for the majority and about 39% are from Fox News.
About 30% of the invitees are political related. They are current or former government officials, judges and their spouses. The invited members of the Senate and the house of representatives are Republicans. Only 14% of the invitees are diplomats or foreign officials, and nearly two-thirds of the invited ambassadors are from European and Middle Eastern countries, while only a few are from Asian, Latin American and African countries.
In November last year, President Trump’s impeachment hearing was in full swing that month, and Trump’s main defenders in the impeachment process were also on the invited list.
The cost of each dish could be as high as a few hundred dollars, and so far the total cost of the dinner has been about six figures, the source said.
The dinner also bypassed the normal process of holding formal events for the Secretary of state, but was arranged informally between the office of the chief of protocol and the office of pompeio, which meant there was no coordination with State Department regulators.
U.S. State Department officials question: the dinner is for the benefit of pompeio
Pompeio’s way of hosting these dinners has raised many concerns, such as the use of taxpayer funds. According to NBC, the cost of the dinner is paid for by the State Department’s emergency diplomatic and consular services. Current and former State Department officials said that in order to comply with the funding requirements, State Department officials usually ensure that a considerable proportion of foreign dignitaries or officials are present.
But historians point out that no Secretary of state has hosted such a frequent dinner, funded by the State Department and attended by political and business leaders.
State Department officials at the dinner said they were concerned that the activities were essentially using federal resources to build contacts for pompeio’s political ambitions. Forbes magazine’s website also believes that the move “is clearly to win influential friends in the future political campaign.”.
In addition, the outside world also questioned pompeio’s wife, a non-governmental official, but became the leader of the “official dinner party”. Susan’s previous appearance at the State Department’s official visit also raised questions. Susan plays a central role in the Madison dinner, where she communicates directly with State Department officials, lists guests and dates, and arranges menus.
All information obtained during the invitation process, including the name and contact information of the guest, will be sent to Susan’s personal email account, officials said. Some congressional officials worry that if Mr. pompeio runs for office again, the information could become a list of potential donors. According to NBC, pompeio is considered a potential presidential candidate in 2024.
On the 15th, State Department inspector general Steve lenik was dismissed suddenly. The White House didn’t give the specific reasons for his dismissal, but Elliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee of the Congress, said in a subsequent statement that lenik had launched an investigation into pompeio, suggesting that lenik’s dismissal was related to the investigation of pompeio.
NBC reported that it was not clear whether lenik was also investigating the “Madison dinner party”, but two government officials said that lenik had made some investigations to the concierge in charge of the dinner party before being dismissed, and the office of pompeio was informed later.
Several congressional committees are also reportedly investigating the dinner.
A senior trump administration official said: “if the president knew that, he would have fired pompeio a few months ago.”