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Pompeo Confronted on Criticism He Hasn’t Done Enough to Publicly Defend State Dept Employees

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a press conference today announcing that “after carefully studying all sides of the legal debate,” they have concluded “the establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.”

Pompeo took questions on the Israel announcement and a number of other topics, including the State Department officials who have testified in the impeachment inquiry.

The Secretary of State was confronted with the criticism that he has “not chosen to speak up publicly in defense of your employees, including those who testified.”

“I’m happy to talk about Ukraine policy,” Pompeo said. “I’m not going to get into the issues surrounding the Democrat impeachment inquiry.”

“Ambassador Yovanovitch’s departure preceded the arrival of Bill Taylor,” he added, dismissing the idea that “this change was designed to enable some nefarious purpose.”

Pompeo defended the Trump administration’s approach to Ukraine, saying, “I’m proud of what we’ve done.”

When pressed specifically again on not defending State Department employees, Pompeo said, “I always defend State Department employees, this is the greatest diplomatic corps in the history of the world. Very proud of the team.”

You can watch above, via Fox Business Network.

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac