Pompeo trolls WaPo at Trump hotel event after it freaked out over venue


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gently mocked The Washington Post’s obsessive, conspiratorial reporting Friday while speaking at an event hosted at the Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C.

I look around. This is such a beautiful hotel. The guy who owns it must … [is] gonna be successful somewhere along the way,” he said, eliciting laughter from the audience.

That was for The Washington Post, in case they’re somewhere in the back,” he added.


The remarks were made a day after the Post ran another allegedly “bombshell” story about the president. This one concerned Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence’s plans to speak at the president’s Washington, D.C. hotel for an event hosted by Concerned Women for America.

“Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were scheduled to speak this week at President Trump’s hotel in Washington — lending their names to events put on by a paying customer of Trump’s private business,” the Post breathlessly reported.

The planned speeches suggest that Trump and his Cabinet are not shying away from events that drive revenue to the president’s company, even after multiple stories have brought new scrutiny to the blurring of lines between Trump’s business and presidency.”

Almost all of those “stories” were published by the Post and its partisan allies, all of whom have been desperately trying to prove that there’s been corruption afoot at the president’s properties.

Last week, for example, Politico ran a “bombshell” story complaining about a U.S. Air Force squadron that stayed overnight at a Trump resort during a stopover in Scotland last March.

“In early Spring of this year, an Air National Guard crew made a routine trip from the U.S. to Kuwait to deliver supplies,” the story reads. “What wasn’t routine was where the crew stopped along the way: President Donald Trump’s Turnberry resort, about 50 miles outside Glasgow, Scotland.”

Fact-check: FALSE.

“The stopover of a U.S. Air Force C-17 in Glasgow, Scotland is not unusual,” Air Force spokesperson Brig. Gen. Ed Thomas later confirmed in a statement to the Associated Press.

“Every two and half minutes an Air Force transport aircraft takes off or lands somewhere around the globe. As our aircrews serve on these international airlift missions, they follow strict guidelines on contracting for hotel accommodations and all expenditures of taxpayer dollars.”

As for the stopover in March, it was motivated by prices, not corruption: “[T]hey made reservations through the Defense Travel System and used the closest available and least expensive accommodations to the airfield within the crews’ allowable hotel rates,” Thomas explained.

Dovetailing back to the Post’s report about the event at the Trump International Hotel, it did at least contain a statement from Pence and Pompeo’s spokespeople.

“Spokespeople for Pence and Pompeo defended the speeches, saying the appearances did not steer this business to the president’s hotel, as the nonprofit had already chosen the venue before inviting the two officials,” the report reads. “They said the appearances had been vetted for ethical or legal concerns and approved by others in the White House and the State Department.”

Case closed then? Not exactly …

Despite admitting shortly later in its report that “there are no conflict-of-interest laws that would bar Pence or Pompeo from” attending the event” — meaning there literally cannot be any corruption happening (déjà vu, anyone?) — the Post went on to suggest otherwise.

The paper accomplished this stunning feat by quoting from former Obama admin Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub.

“Shaub … said that [Pence and Pompeo’s appearance at the event] sends a signal to other potential customers — which could bring Trump more money,” the Post reported. “The signal, Shaub said, is: ‘The administration is sweetening the pot for outside groups to rent space in Trump’s properties by offering up the vice president or the secretary of state. Or, in this case, both.'”

What the Post neglected to mention is that Shaub is a highly partisan anti-Trump zealot — one who talked about “tak[ing] to the streets” against Trump two years ago, and who currently works for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

While CREW seemingly used to get the story right — such as when it exposed current GOP presidential candidate Joe Walsh’s corruption back in 2011 — these days it’s known more-so for its false, shady allegations against Trump administration officials and failed lawsuits against the president.

As for Shaub, his Twitter newsfeed reads no different than the timeline of raging anti-Trump critic George Conway, the husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.

Also contained in his newsfeed is his response to Pompeo’s joke:

Note how his conspiratorial posts echo the conspiracy theories put forth by the Post.

In the slightly altered words of Star Wars villain Darth Vader, “The Trump Derangement Syndrome appears to be strong with this one.”


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Vivek Saxena


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