Joseph R. Biden’s presidential campaign on Tuesday said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s forthcoming address to the Republican National Convention is undermining the work of U.S. diplomats.
“Secretary Pompeo’s decision to address the Republican Convention from Jerusalem isn’t just an abuse of taxpayer dollars, it undermines the critical work being done by the State Department,” said Kate Bedingfield, Mr. Biden’s deputy campaign manager and communications director.
Ms. Bedingfield said Mr. Pompeo’s “repeated and blatant use of his office for overtly political purposes only serves to undercut their work.”
Mr. Pompeo is scheduled to deliver taped remarks via video from Jerusalem on Tuesday evening, the second night of the Republican National Convention.
The State Department has said Mr. Pompeo is appearing in his personal capacity and that taxpayer funds aren’t going to be used for the speech.
Ms. Bedingfield said his choosing Jerusalem as the site for the address “is also the latest instance of this administration seeking to use Israel as a political wedge issue.”
“Secretary Pompeo’s decision to serve as an errand boy for the President’s reelection on a taxpayer-funded diplomatic mission, and his decision to use one of our closest partners as a political prop in the process, is absolutely disgraceful,” she said.
Both Mr. Pompeo and the State Department have warned employees about appearing at partisan political events.
Mr. Pompeo himself rejected entreaties from GOP leaders to leave the Trump administration and launch a U.S. Senate bid in Kansas this year.
He recently made an appearance in Iowa, home of the first-in-the-nation presidential Caucus.
Mr. Biden has criticized President Trump’s general approach on foreign policy, but he said earlier this year that he would not seek to reverse Mr. Trump’s moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
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