Pompeo jokes about speaking at Trump hotel: 'The guy who owns it' is 'going to be successful'

Pompeo jokes about speaking at Trump hotel: 'The guy who owns it' is 'going to be successful'
© Stefani Reynolds

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Pentagon waiting for Saudi assessment on attack | Defense bill talks begin | Border fight takes centerstage | Pentagon finalizes .5B in wall contracts | US withholds Afghan aid citing corruption House Armed Services panel gets classified briefing on Saudi attacks US withholds 0M in Afghan aid citing corruption MORE joked about the grandeur of President TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it MORE's hotel in Washington, D.C., on Friday while speaking at an event hosted at the facility, quipping that the hotel's owner must be "successful."

Speaking at the Concerned Women for America's (CWA) 40th anniversary event at the Trump International Hotel, Pompeo opened his remarks to the conservative women's group with a quip about the hotel's ownership.

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"I look around. This is such a beautiful hotel. The guy who owns it must ... [is] gonna be successful somewhere along the way," Pompeo joked, drawing laughs from the crowd.

"That was for The Washington Post," he added, acknowledging members of the news media covering his remarks at the Trump property.

Vice President Pence also spoke at the event Thursday night and joked that Trump was "jealous" that he could not attend the gathering himself.
 
"I’ve just literally left him in the Oval Office and told him I was headed your way. And I think he — I think he sounded just a little bit jealous," Pence said of Trump on Thursday night, according to a transcript.
 
During his remarks Friday, Pence also pledged Trump and the White House's support for the CWA's socially-conservative agenda, telling the crowd that "the CWA, I would argue, has never had a greater champion, a greater fighter for our values in the Oval Office."
 
Pompeo's reference to The Post came after the newspaper joined other outlets this week to report on Pence and Pompeo's scheduled appearance at the event being held at the Trump property.
 
The newspaper cited spokespeople for both Trump administration officials who defended their scheduled speeches, maintaining the appearances didn't direct money to Trump's hotel since the hosting group picked the venue being inviting the two officials. 
 

Trump's properties including the D.C. hotel have been a subject of controversy since the beginning of his presidency, as Trump refused to sell his business and instead placed the Trump Organization into a trust controlled by his adult sons, Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpDemocrats introduce bill to block taxpayer-funded spending at Trump properties Trump dismisses NYT explanation on Kavanaugh correction The Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico MORE and Eric TrumpEric Frederick TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Senior HUD official reprimanded for making political statements on the job Democrats introduce bill to block taxpayer-funded spending at Trump properties MORE.

Critics have argued that patronage of Trump's properties from foreign officials and domestic political organizations including Republican groups constitute violations of the constitution's Emoluments Clause, which forbids gifts to public officials.

A lawsuit filed by Democratic lawmakers alleging that Trump has violated the Emoluments Clause is making its way through the court system, and a New York appeals court ruled Friday that a lawsuit in the state that had been dismissed by a lower court could go forward.