Mike Pompeo Already Breaking Fox News' Sometimes Ethics Rule

Mary Papenfuss
·Trends Reporter, HuffPost
·2 min read

Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who only days ago landed a job as a Fox News contributor, already appears to be violating his new employer’s sometimes policy against partisan political activities with a side gig as keynote speaker at a Mar-a-Lago fundraiser for Palm Beach County’s Republican Party.

Pompeo is the headliner Saturday at the annual “Lincoln Dinner,” whose brochure this year juxtaposes portraits of Abraham Lincoln and Donald Trump, Media Matters was the first to report.

Fox News announced Thursday that the former secretary of state was joining the cable network as a paid contributor. CEO Suzanne Scott called Pompeo “one of America’s most recognized and respected voices on foreign policy.”

The cable network seemed to draw a line against conflicts in 2018, after hosts Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro participated in a Missouri political rally for Trump.

“Fox News does not condone any talent participating in campaign events,” Fox News said in a statement at the time. “This was an unfortunate distraction and has been addressed.”

In 2019, when Republican and conservative organizations booked appearances by Pirro, Pete Hegseth, his “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade and news anchor Shannon Bream, the network canceled them.

It’s unclear if Fox News has changed the policy on political conflicts of interest by its personalities or paid contributors.

Fox News representatives did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

The Washington Post reported last month that the network has apparently dropped any partisan constraints, noting that a number of Fox News hosts spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference. In fact, Fox News spent $250,000 to become a leading sponsor of CPAC.

“This is far from the first time that Fox News has crossed ethical lines. But following its obvious conflicts at CPAC, viewers of Fox News may have a difficult time differentiating what’s news and what’s paid political propaganda,” Danielle McLean, the ethics committee chair for the Society of Professional Journalists, told the Post.

It “creates an obvious conflict of interest for its reporters and anchors who are assigned [to cover] the Republican Party, or for that matter, U.S. politics,” McLean added.

Meanwhile, Pompeo appears to be easing into a campaign for the presidency. Fox News reported just days ago that Pompeo is a potential 2024 contender — but failed to mention he also happens to be a network pundit.

Pompeo has a track record of skirting ethics rules, even if they actually exist. While ostensibly working for taxpayers as secretary of state, he openly and repeatedly campaigned for Trump, violating government rules.

He addressed the Republican National Convention in taped remarks from Jerusalem, a trip critics charged was specifically arranged for the televised event.

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.