News and Commentary

NBC Tries, Fails To Accuse Pompeo Family Of Corruption While Network Ignores Hunter Biden Scandal
Stage preparation continues for tomorrow's Democratic presidential debate at Paris Las Vegas on February 18, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

NBC News this week published a “breaking news” article purportedly showing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s family abusing their position.

The article was based off of emails released through a Freedom of Information Act request and show nothing actually objectionable. In one email, Pompeo’s son Nick thanked staff at the State Department for giving him a tour of the Department’s Diplomacy Center. In another email, Pompeo’s wife, Susan, asks the Secretary of State Protective Division for updates on repairs to her family’s HVAC system, porch, and stairs.

NBC tried to accuse the family of some kind of corruption, beginning the article:

Less than three months after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was sworn in, his son, Nick, reached out to thank State Department officials for a private tour they had given him and his mother, Susan Pompeo, of the agency’s in-house museum.

“I also want to reinforce my willingness to help your mission in any way I can,” Nick Pompeo wrote. “We view this as a family endeavor, so if you think there is any place I can add value, don’t hesitate to reach out.”

He also had an ask: Could he or the software company for which he was a sales executive be involved in a coming “data hackathon” event the State Department was planning? In an email, he asked for details about dates, times, volunteer opportunities and “how I or anyone at my company could help.”

The hackathon was an educational event, and Nick Pompeo’s company didn’t participate, yet NBC used the example to claim “the Pompeos have repeatedly blurred the lines between official government business and domestic or personal matters.”

None of the emails mentioned by NBC show any wrongdoing. Susan Pompeo, who is not a State Department employee, uses her personal email address to discuss travel plans and restaurant reservations with State Department officials. NBC tried to paint Susan’s requests to the Diplomatic Security Service for information about home repairs as an abuse of power, yet Susan was told by Diplomatic Security to contact them before anyone outside of her family enters their home.

NBC noted in their story that “there are legitimate reasons that Diplomatic Security officials, whose mandate includes protecting the secretary, might be kept in the loop about workers who need access to his home.”

Further, a State Department spokesperson told the outlet, “Mrs. Pompeo has been directed to contact Diplomatic Security before any non-family members come to their home.”

When NBC spoke to a third-party expert about the emails, a law and ethics professor at New York University, told the outlet that nothing in the emails seemed to violate ethics rules.

“There are certainly ‘optics’ issues here. It can look like Pompeo is using the office to ingratiate himself with others, possibly future supporters in a 2024 White House race,” said the professor, Stephen Giller, adding, “I don’t see that they used the office for financial gain.”

While NBC took pains to paint the Pompeos as corrupt, the outlet has ignored or downplayed a scandal involving Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Emails revealed Hunter saying his father would be part of any business deals are being ignored by the press, which calls them “unverified” even though people on the email chain have verified the documents.

Last week, NBC went so far as to publish a decoy story discussing a document no one had ever heard of and that had nothing to do with the emails originally published by the New York Post.

NBC also published an article claiming it tried to report on the Hunter Biden emails but ran into “obstacles.” The outlet claimed Fox News and the Wall Street Journal determined the allegations against Hunter were unfounded, but that is untrue. The outlets found no documentation that Biden was part of his son’s foreign dealings, yet a former business part of Hunter’s said it was made clear to him that Joe would not be formerly mentioned as part of the process.

NBC and other outlets also refuse to ask Joe or Hunter about the scandal.

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