‘Shameful’: Pompeo responds to NPR reporter over interview blowup

pCloud Premium

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly conducted a roughly 10-minute interview with the secretary of State on Friday morning that ended after she brought up the topic at the center of President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

By

Updated

Mike Pompeo hit back Saturday morning after an NPR reporter said the secretary of State harangued her after an interview on the subject of Ukraine grew testy, calling the episode “shameful.”

NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly conducted a roughly 10-minute interview with Pompeo on Friday morning that was cut off by an aide after she brought up the topic at the center of President Donald Trump’s impeachment.

The interview initially covered a range of topics on U.S. foreign policy in Iran. But when Kelly asked about former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, the secretary grew upset, the reporter said Friday.

Kelly said she was later led to the secretary’s private living room, where Pompeo berated her and asked whether the American people care about Ukraine. He allegedly used the F-word multiple times and asked her to identify Ukraine on an unlabeled map of the world.

In a statement released Saturday, Pompeo said: “NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly lied to me, twice. First, last month, in setting up our interview and, then again yesterday, in agreeing to have our post-interview conversation off the record. It is shameful that this reporter chose to violate the basic rules of journalism and decency. This is another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt President Trump and this Administration.”

Kelly did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Pompeo’s statement.

Pompeo has found himself in the center of the scandal that prompted the third impeachment trial in U.S. history. His critics have accused him of permitting a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine that would advance Trump’s political interests at the expense of an important regional partnership.

Pompeo was also criticized for not publicly defending Yovanovitch as she was subjected to a campaign to have her removed from her post.

Kelly asked Pompeo whether he owed Yovanovitch an apology for how she was treated. Pompeo said he has “defended every single person on this team,” and that he has “done right for every single person on this team,” according to a recording of the interview.

When Kelly pressed him to provide examples of him defending Yovanovitch, Pompeo would not comment further.

Yovanovitch was caught in a web of alleged machinations to push Ukrainian officials to publicly investigate Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden’s family for Trump’s domestic political benefit.

Pompeo recalled Yovanovitch from the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv in May.

Yovanovitch testified before Congress last November that Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani conducted a “smear campaign” against her, and she lambasted the State Department for not protecting her.

“As foreign service professionals are being denigrated and undermined, the institution is also being degraded,” she said at the time.

pCloud Premium

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.