Pompeo huddled with donors, political figures while on official State Department trips: report

Pompeo huddled with donors, political figures while on official State Department trips: report
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Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPutin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump previews SCOTUS nominee as 'totally brilliant' Pompeo accused of stumping for Trump ahead of election MORE has made pit stops while on official State Department business to meet with high-level Republican donors and conservative political figures, The New York Times reported.

The Times highlighted multiple instances in which Pompeo had an unscheduled meeting with prominent GOP donors. According to the paper, Pompeo had one of these meetings in October, December and January.

The October meeting featured billionaire Charles Koch who has been a longtime supporter of Pompeo, the Times says.

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The paper also says the meetings happened while the country's top diplomat was weighing a Senate run in his adopted home state of Kansas, noting his political aspirations for a potential presidential bid in 2024.

It is unclear the specific number of times Pompeo has taken such meetings, but the Times says that a patten of the behavior is present.

The State Department at times has announced beforehand that Pompeo will be meeting with corporate leaders, but the department hasn't divulged further details.

Scrutiny into Pompeo's conduct on official trips has increased since State Department Inspector General Steve  Linick was fired last Friday by President TrumpDonald John TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Trump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance MORE after Pompeo requested he do so.

Linick had reportedly opened probe into the use of federal resources for personal use by Pompeo and his wife.

Liberal watchdog group American Oversight demanded this week that the State Department hand over all documents related to Pompeo's travels.

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“It’s becoming increasingly clear that Secretary Pompeo is using the State Department to support his political career, and is using the position of secretary of state to collect a Rolodex of powerful people to support him for whatever venture he sees next,” Austin Evers, executive director of the group, told the Times.

The Times notes that Pompeo isn't the first secretary of state to have political aspirations while in office, citing former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFox News poll: Biden ahead of Trump in Nevada, Pennsylvania and Ohio Trump, Biden court Black business owners in final election sprint The power of incumbency: How Trump is using the Oval Office to win reelection MORE who launched her presidential bid for the 2016 election after serving as former President Obama's chief diplomat. 

The Hill has reached out to the State Department for comment.