Pompeo confidant emerges as enforcer in fight over watchdog’s firing

“Since taking over the State Department in April 2018, Pompeo has relied upon a tight-knit group of official and unofficial advisers, some of whom he’s known for many years, and one of whom also is his wife, Susan. President Donald Trump fired Linick last month on Pompeo’s recommendation, and the storm of controversy that has ensued since has focused attention on this inner circle.”

“At times, the aide, Undersecretary of State for Management Brian Bulatao, would act in a “professional” manner, Linick told congressional investigators. “At other times,” Linick recalled, “he tried to bully me.” 

Bulatao isn’t just any colleague of the secretary of State. He is one of Pompeo’s best friends, dating back to when they met at West Point as members of the class of 1986. The two have been business partners. And when Pompeo went to lead the CIA, then later jumped to State, he gave Bulatao top positions at both institutions.

In the months since joining State, Bulatao appears to have emerged as an enforcer and a shield for Pompeo in ways that are now drawing attention from Democrats probing Linick’s mid-May firing.”


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