Pompeo cancels plan to film Trump campaign ad geared to US expats while in Israel


(JTA) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo canceled plans to film a campaign ad in Israel to encourage Americans living there to vote for President Donald Trump.

The decision not to participate in the campaign by Republicans Overseas Israel followed the uproar over Pompeo’s prerecorded message from Jerusalem to last week’s Republican National Convention, and following legal consultations, Israel’s Channel 12 News reported, citing sources involved in the discussions.

Pompeo was accused of violating the Hatch Act, which forbids federal employees from participating in some kinds of political activity. His speech to the convention filmed atop the King David Hotel, with the Old City as a backdrop, triggered a congressional investigation.

Republicans Overseas Israel launched a campaign last month to encourage American-Israelis to vote for Trump and running mate Mike Pence, along with GOP Senate candidates.

Pompeo was in Israel last week following the announcement of a U.S.-brokered normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

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