President Donald Trump mocked the media Monday for asking him about the firing of State Department Inspector General Steve Linick last Friday, who was apparently looking into claims that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had asked a staffer to walk his dog, among other personal errands.
It emerged Monday that Linick was also suspected of having leaked information to the media without authorization.
Trump answered questions from the press after a roundtable with restaurant owners. He scorned the idea that having a staffer walk a dog was a scandal:
You mean he’s under investigation because he had somebody walk his dog, from the government? I don’t know. It doesn’t sound — I don’t think it sounds like that important. I mean, you have a man that’s supposed to be — and he’s a brilliant guy, number one at West Point, number one at Harvard, I believe — Harvard Law School, or close … and they’re bothered because he’s having somebody walk his dog, as you’re telling me? I didn’t know that, I didn’t hear that, I didn’t know about an investigation. But this is what you get with the Democrats. Here’s a man supposed to be negotiating war and peace with major, major countries, with weaponry like the world has never seen before, and the Democrats and the fake news media, they’re interested in a man who’s walking their dog? And maybe he’s busy. And maybe he’s negotiating with [North Korean leader] Kim Jong-un, okay, about nuclear weapons. So that he’d say, “Please, could you walk my dog? Would you mind walking my dog? I’m talking to Kim Jong-un,” or, “I‘m talking to [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] about paying us for some of the damage they have caused to the world, and to us. Please walk my dog.” To — who, a Secret Service person or somebody, right? I don’t know. I think this country has a long way to go. They — the priorities are really screwed up when I read this. Now, I don’t know anything about the investigation but, you’re just telling me about walking a dog — and, what’d you say, doing dishes?
Trump later asked: “I’d rather have him on the phone with some world leader than have him wash dishes … Do you know how stupid that sounds to the world?”
Pompeo has a five-year-old golden retriever named Sherman, named after William Tecumseh Sherman, a famed — and feared — Union general in the Civil War:
Happy 5th Birthday Sherman! You were a VERY ornery puppy who grew into a GREAT dog 🐶 pic.twitter.com/ziXYPK1Ngt
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) April 23, 2020
The journalist also asked Trump about reports that Pompeo was negotiating “Saudi arms deals.” He incorrectly stated that Congress “passed a law to restrict sales to Saudi Arabia.” In fact, Congress passed a bill that Trump vetoed last year. Congress did not have the votes to override the veto, and the bill never became law.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, is available for pre-order. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.