NPR National Security Reporter Mary Louise Kelly pressed Pompeo on Friday about whether he owed the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, an apology for the way she was mistreated by the Trump administration.
Pompeo was irritated right away, annoyed that the topic of Ukraine was brought up in the first place, saying, “You know, I agreed to come on your show today to talk about Iran. That’s what I intend to do.”
Kelly pushed back, saying that she had cleared with it Pompeo’s staff that the interview would be about both Iran and Ukraine. Pompeo replied, “I just don’t have anything else to say about that this morning.”
The back-and-forth continued as Pompeo spoke in generalities, saying that he’s “defended every single person” on his team, which would have included Yovanovitch.
Kelly asked, “Sir, respectfully, where have you defended Marie Yovanovitch?”
Pompeo replied, “I’ve done what’s right for every single person on this team.”
Kelly asked for a specific time where Pompeo made remarks defending Yovanovitch. Pompeo said, “I’ve said all I’m going to say today.” Kelly pressed further but to no avail, and an aide ended the interview soon after.
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Mike Pompeo — who refused a House subpoena — would be a top witness for Democrats in the impeachment trial.
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After the interview ended, according to NPR, “Pompeo stood, leaned in and silently glared at Kelly for a period of several seconds before leaving the room.”
Kelly spoke about what happened next on NPR: “I was taken to the secretary’s private living room, where he was waiting, and where he shouted at me for about the same amount of time as the interview itself had lasted.”
Kelly then said Pompeo asked her: “Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?”
Kelly continued, “He used the F-word in that sentence and many others. He asked if I could find Ukraine on a map, I said yes. He called out for his aides to bring him a map of the world with no writing, no countries marked.”
“I pointed to Ukraine,” Kelly said. “He put the map away. He said, ‘People will hear about this,’ and then he turned and said he had things to do, and I thanked him again for his time and left.”
Pompeo was right, people are hearing about this.