A bipartisan delegation of senators and congressmen met with Pompeo last Saturday at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof on the sideline of the Munich Security Conference. The meeting became contentious early on, when Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) confronted Pompeo about what the senator described as a severe morale problem among Foreign Service officers and civil servants working for the State Department both in Washington and around the world.
Pompeo reacted angrily. The secretary didn’t just deny that he had failed to protect his employees sufficiently; he also claimed that morale at the State Department is great, according to four lawmakers who were in the room…
The secretary claimed that Foreign Service officers routinely claim that morale in the department is high. He also claimed that there are more Foreign Service officers now than ever before. (That claim is disputed by the American Foreign Service Association, which reports the number of Foreign Service officers is the lowest in years and is falling quickly.)
Whitehouse, according to the lawmakers, stood his ground as Pompeo got visibly upset. “I’ve made my point,” Whitehouse said. “You certainly have,” Pompeo replied.