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Pompeo knocks Menendez: 'That's not someone who I look to for ethics guidance'

Pompeo knocks Menendez: 'That's not someone who I look to for ethics guidance'
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Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoEntire Nigerian police force mobilized after days of violent protests that have killed at least 69 Hillicon Valley: Treasury sanctions Russian group accused of targeting critical facilities | Appeals court rules Uber, Lyft must comply with labor laws | Biden: Countries that target US elections will 'pay a price' Treasury sanctions Russian group accused of targeting US critical facilities with destructive malware MORE slammed Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezWatchdog confirms State Dept. canceled award for journalist who criticized Trump Kasie Hunt to host lead-in show for MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' Senators ask for removal of tariffs on EU food, wine, spirits: report MORE (D-N.J.) on Wednesday at a State Department press briefing after being questioned about the removal of the agency's inspector general.

Pompeo was asked about allegations that he recommended firing inspector general Steve Linick while Linick was pursuing investigations into his activities, including the alleged misuse of government resources.

The secretary, who has denied that Linick's dismissal was retaliatory, shot back that the allegations had been "leaked" to the media by staff members of Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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"I don't get my ethics guidance from a man who was criminally prosecuted, a man for whom his Senate colleagues, bipartisan, basically said that he was taking bribes. That's not someone I look to for ethics guidance," Pompeo said.

Menendez previously faced corruption and bribery charges. The case ended in a mistrial in 2017.

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Menendez's office did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill on the secretary's remarks.

Pompeo's recommendation that President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE fire Linick has since evolved into a bipartisan controversy, with lawmakers from both parties demanding answers from the White House and State Department.

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyOn The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits Grassley: Voters should be skeptical of Biden's pledge to not raise middle class taxes GOP to Trump: Focus on policy MORE (R-Iowa) has asked Trump to "provide a detailed reasoning" for Linick's removal.

In a separate letter to Trump, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump expressed doubt to donors GOP can hold Senate: report Senators battle over Supreme Court nominee in rare Saturday session Sunday shows preview: Trump, Biden gear up for final sprint to Election Day MORE (D-Calif.) wrote, "It is alarming to see news reports that your action may have been in response to Inspector General Linick nearing completion of an investigation into the approval of billions of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia."