Pompeo to address RNC from Jerusalem
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s decision to address the Republican National Convention tonight from Israel has thrown Democrats into raptures of anger, saying that while Pompeo isn’t breaking the law, he’s violating the spirit of the law while abroad.
“Critics… say Pompeo is violating the spirit, if not the letter, of the Hatch Act by using government resources to travel to the venue and jeopardizing long-standing tradition that domestic politics ends at the water’s edge when it comes to diplomacy,” reports the Associated Press.
To add insult to injury, Pompeo is traveling to support the newest Democrat boogeyman, Israel, and his message — give peace a chance — will likely appeal to the longtime conservative support of the Jewish state.
Pompeo is on the first leg of a multi-stop trip hoping to follow-up on the peace deal between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel that Trump helped negotiate and finalize two weeks ago.
The U.S. Secretary of State has stops in Bahrain, UAE, Sudan and Israel planned.
Democrats were stunned when the UAE deal was announced and are worried that Hatch Act or no Hatch Act, Pompeo might announce another Middle East peace agreement, if not during his RNC address, at least before the convention ends.
While secretaries of state have often been reticent about politics during national conventions, that’s been more out of tradition than out of any requirement.
While skeptics think there is little chance that Sudan will come to a peace agreement with Israel, the U.S. promise to remove Sudan from a list of countries that supports terrorism is a powerful economic incentive for the African nation.
Currently there are four nations on the list of state sponsors of terror, including North Korea, Syria, Iran and Sudan.
“Taken together,” says the State Department, “the four main categories of sanctions resulting from designation under these authorities include restrictions on U.S. foreign assistance; a ban on defense exports and sales; certain controls over exports of dual-use items; and miscellaneous financial and other restrictions.”
For the Trump administration as well as Middle East peace and America, the stakes are high for the Pompeo diplomacy.
Trump has been able to repair quite a bit of damage done by both the Iraq invasions and the subsequent abandonment to the region to Iranian influence, by two administrations, one Republican and one Democrat, helping to stabilize the Middle East that has been destabilized for 30 years.
But still, peace agreements with Bahrain, Sudan and Saudi Arabia would help solidify progress made so far, giving peace a better chance.
PHOTO: Mike Segar / AP
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