Mike Pompeo Stonewalls Amid Intense Questioning on Why He Didn’t Defend Yovanovitch: ‘Said All I’m Going to Say’
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with NPR host Mary Louise Kelly and faced a grilling over former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
Kelly spoke with Pompeo about Iran before asking about Yovanovitch, given the push to oust her uncovered in the impeachment inquiry. ABC News obtained audio today purporting to be President Donald Trump telling associates in 2018 he wanted Yovanovitch fired.
In the interview today, Kelly asked Pompeo if he owes Yovanovitch an apology.
Pompeo started by saying “I agreed to come on your show today to talk about Iran” before defending the administration’s Ukraine policy and saying, “I just don’t have anything else to say about that.”
After pointing out she had confirmed with his staff she would be asking about Ukraine as well, Kelly noted how people who had previously worked for him have since said they aren’t happy that he hasn’t stood up for diplomats like Yovanovitch.
Pompeo dismissed them as “unnamed sources” but Kelly said, “These are not unnamed sources.”
She brought up testimony from former Pompeo aide Michael McKinley and what he testified to months ago about his reasons for stepping down:
“The timing of my resignation was the result of two overriding concerns: the failure, in my view, of the State Department to offer support to Foreign Service employees caught up in the Impeachment Inquiry on Ukraine; and, second, by what appears to be the utilization of our ambassadors overseas to advance domestic political objectives,” McKinley said in prepared remarks.
Pompeo insisted, “I have defended every State Department official”
“Sir, respectfully, where have you defended Marie Yovanovitch?” Kelly asked.
Pompeo just insisted, “I’ve defended every single person on this team. I’ve done what’s right for every single person on this team.”
“Can you point me toward your remarks where you have defended Marie Yovanovitch?” Kelly asked again.
“I’ve said all I’m going to say today, thank you,” Pompeo said.
You can listen above, via NPR.
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