Pompeo Says People Are 'Picking on My Wife' Over Christmas Card Emails

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has defended his wife, Susan, following reports that she wanted State Department employees to carry out personal tasks for her, including sending Christmas cards.

Pompeo spoke to Fox News' Martha MacCallum on Monday and accused critics of "picking on" his wife. The House Foreign Affairs Committee is continuing its investigation into the Pompeos' behavior at State.

New emails revealed that Susan Pompeo asked a State Department official, Toni Porter, to help her send personal Christmas cards in December 2019. A senior official warned Porter about the Pompeos asking for help with other personal matters.

MacCallum asked Pompeo about the Christmas cards and his so-called "Madison Dinners," which have been the subject of controversy.

"Yeah, everything we've done was for the betterment of the State Department. It was lawful and appropriate," Pompeo said on Fox News.

"We'll continue to do that. We're going to continue hosting guests here at the State Department to have people have serious conversations about American foreign policy benefiting the people of the United States of America. I'm proud of what we've done.

"The fact that they're picking on my wife, who has done yeoman's work as a volunteer to try and make life better for every officer at the State Department, I find pathetic and sad.

"But we'll keep doing the right thing, we'll keep obeying the law, we'll keep doing everything that's proper, and we'll leave the State Department a better place than we found it when our time here is done."

Pompeo also dismissed concerns that there's been no mask-wearing at his Madison Dinners. The lack of masks at events on government property has become a source of contention in recent weeks due to the coronavirus risks.

"We will comply with every instruction from the State Department medical team. We'll be safe and we'll have a great set of meetings and conversations," Pompeo said.

Susan Pompeo sent requests to a State Department employee from her personal account, according to emails obtained by McClatchy. Pompeo emailed Porter, who is a longtime aide to her husband.

"I see that you are out of the office all next week," she wrote. "Do you know, is Joe also out? I'm wondering if we are sending the last of our personal cards out, who will be there to help me. Mike will not want to go outside you and Joe for this assistance."

Porter forwarded the email to Lisa Kenna, executive secretary at the Department, who offered to help but commented: "I'd worry about asking others for personal things."

Michael Pompeo Speaks During a Press Conference
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo speaks during a press conference with Iraq's Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein at the State Department in Washington, DC on August 19, 2020. Pompeo has dismissed criticism of his wife, Susan. MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images