Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went off on an NPR reporter during an interview, according to a transcript of the full interview and the report from Kelly on air.
"All Things Considered" co-host Mary Louise Kelly has reported on national security and foreign policy for decades. Ahead of her interview with Pompeo, she cleared with the State Department that they could discuss Ukraine and Iran as part of their interview. It was approved. Yet, when the moment came, Pompeo lost his cool.
@NPR @NPRKelly @npratc @SecPompeo The full interview will be up soon. But here is the part that got him angry. She… https://t.co/cZIyMCXqVy— Lulu (@Lulu) 1579904692.0
She began by asking about former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who Pompeo not only refused to defend under his leadership but willingly threw under the bus.
"You know, I agreed to come on your show today to talk about Iran," Pompeo complained. "That's what I intend to do. I know what our Ukraine policy has been now for the three years of this administration. I'm proud of the work we've done. This administration delivered the capability for the Ukrainians to defend themselves. President Obama showed up with MREs (meals ready to eat.) We showed up with Javelin missiles. The previous administration did nothing to take down corruption in Ukraine. We're working hard on that. We're going to continue to do it."
Kelly explained that she cleared the topics with Pompeo's staff, but Pompeo said he didn't care and didn't have anything else to say about Ukraine.
"I just want to give you another opportunity to answer this, because as you know, people who work for you in your department, people who have resigned from this department under your leadership, saying you should stand up for the diplomats who work here," said Kelly.
Pompeo railed against "unnamed sources."
"These are not unnamed sources," Kelly explained. "This is your senior adviser Michael McKinley, a career foreign service officer with four decades experience, who testified under oath that he resigned in part due to the failure of the State Department to offer support to Foreign Service employees caught up in the impeachment inquiry on Ukraine."
Pompeo further refused to comment, questioning whether McKinley even said it or not and whether Kelly was lying.
"I have defended every State Department official," Pompeo claimed. "We've built a great team. The team that works here is doing amazing work around the world."
Kelly asked for examples of when Pompeo defended Yovanovitch.
"I've defended every single person on this team. I've done what's right for every single person on this team," he claimed.
She asked for proof, knowing full-well that such an example didn't exist.
"I've said all I'm going to say today. Thank you. Thanks for the repeated opportunity to do so. I appreciate that," Pompeo said, trying to shove her out.
She asked if she could inquire about one more question.
"I'm not going to — I appreciate that. I appreciate that you want to continue to talk about this. I agreed to come on your show today to talk about Iran," Pompeo said.
"And you appreciate that the American public wants to know as a shadow foreign policy, as a back channel policy on Ukraine was being developed, did you try to block it?" Kelly shot back.
"The Ukraine policy has been run from the Department of State for the entire time that I have been here, and our policy was very clear," said Pompeo.
"Marie Yovanovitch testified under oath that Ukraine policy was hijacked," she corrected.
"I've been clear about that. I know exactly what we were doing. I know precisely what the direction that the State Department gave to our officials around the world about how to manage our Ukraine policy," he bellowed.
According to her comments on NPR, Kelly explained that Pompeo swore at her and railed against Ukraine, saying that she couldn't even find it on a map. He bellowed for a staffer to bring a blank map in telling Kelly to point to Ukraine. She did, accurately.
"People will hear about this," Pompeo threatened.
The interview was then ended.
According to one reporter, she got the same foul-mouthed treatment from Pompeo and she's heard of other colleagues who got the same.
Have had Pompeo’s people call my boss to try and embarrass me and kill my stories while he was CIA Director, have h… https://t.co/PzQ6yBL0yW— Jenna McLaughlin (@Jenna McLaughlin) 1579907376.0
You can see other comments and quotes from the interview captured by people below:
Pompeo berated @NPRKelly after she pressed him on why he hadn’t defended Yovanovitch, she says on NPR. “He shouted… https://t.co/LwqPSGy8bD— Rebecca Ballhaus (@Rebecca Ballhaus) 1579906428.0
The coda to @NPRKelly's interview with @SecPompeo is shocking. As described on @npratc: He screamed, swore at her,… https://t.co/jl7u4FYGAF— Ari Shapiro (@Ari Shapiro) 1579904600.0
Wow. @NPR's @NPRKelly just now on @npratc says @SecPompeo was furious about being questioned about Ukraine in her i… https://t.co/7IVRXBUqGV— Lulu (@Lulu) 1579904526.0
Your periodic reminder that Pompeo once wrote me a letter, on @CIA letterhead no less, telling me "You should have… https://t.co/R2TwR3ziYx— Benjamin Wittes (@Benjamin Wittes) 1579906925.0
Gotta love how Pompeo threatens @NPRKelly with “people will hear about this” and her (unspoken) response is basical… https://t.co/uVD3i495w3— Matthew Miller (@Matthew Miller) 1579906733.0
This is how @SecPompeo spoke to NPR's Mary Louise Kelly. @NPRKelly is an indefatigable reporter and is exquisitely… https://t.co/sNNdNu8NM9— Julia Ioffe (@Julia Ioffe) 1579906249.0