WASHINGTON – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will dive into politically fraught waters Tuesday when he addresses the Republican National Convention – breaking diplomatic protocol and perhaps the State Department’s own policy on engaging in partisan political activity.
Pompeo’s remarks will be recorded and piped in from the Middle East, where he’s traveling on official State Department business.
“It’s unprecedented and it’s, in my judgment, inappropriate,” said Aaron David Miller, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Miller worked for a half-dozen former secretaries of state from both parties, from George Schultz to Colin Powell.
The State Department said Pompeo would address the RNC in his “personal capacity.” A spokesperson, who was not authorized to comment on the record, said no official agency resources would be used for Pompeo’s remarks, and his staff has not been involved in preparing his speech or in making the arrangements for Pompeo’s appearance.
But critics said that’s a distinction without a difference and note that Pompeo’s remarks appear to directly flout a policy that he approved restricting State Department employees from taking part in political activities.
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