The ongoing impeachment inquiry has caused a breakdown in President Donald Trump's relationship with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, typically one of his closest allies in the Cabinet, NBC News reports.
Multiple current and former administration officials told NBC that Trump fumed over Pompeo's hiring officials who went on to testify before Congress in the inquiry and his failure to prevent them from talking while the two had lunch together at the White House in late October.
An unnamed senior administration official said that staffers in the White House thought Trump "just felt like, 'rein your people in.'" Other officials said that Trump also blames the secretary for choosing Ambassador Bill Taylor, who recently testified in the impeachment inquiry, to be the top diplomat in Ukraine.
Pompeo, who was seen as the "Trump whisperer" for his close bond with the president, is now in a difficult position, according to one senior administration official who says the secretary now has to manage a 75,000-person bureaucracy that's grown unhappy with his leadership while working for a president that habitually fires top officials with little to no notice.
"Pompeo feels like he's getting a bunch of blame from the president and the White House for having hired all these people who are turning against Trump," according to one unnamed official, "and that it's the State Department that is going to bring him down, so it's all Pompeo's fault."
The White House and the State Department did not respond to NBC's requests for comment.
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