Journalist: Pompeo Flipped Out When I Asked About Ukraine

Mary Louise Kelly says secretary of state 'used the F-word' many times
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2020 6:15 AM CST
NPR Host: Pompeo Flipped Out When I Asked About Ukraine
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, front, speaks to Colombia's Defense Minister Carlos Trujillo during a visit to an anti-narcotics police in Bogota, Colombia, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.   (AP Photo/Ivan Valencia)

Mike Pompeo apparently went off on an expletive-filled rant after an NPR interview didn't go the way he'd planned. Mary Louise Kelly sat down with the secretary of state on All Things Considered Friday for an interview that started off discussing Iran (full transcript here). Things took a turn when Kelly changed the subject and asked Pompeo if he thought he owed an apology to the former US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, for not defending her against what the Guardian calls a "smear campaign" at the hands of Rudy Giuliani and his associates. Pompeo's displeasure is clear as you listen to the full unedited interview, which you can do here; Pompeo abruptly cuts the sit-down short after saying things like "You know, I agreed to come on your show today to talk about Iran. That's what I intend to do" and refusing to answer. But then things apparently got more heated.

Kelly told her co-host, Ari Shapiro, that after the interview ended, she was directed to Pompeo's private living room. "He shouted at me for about same amount of time as the interview itself. He was not happy to have been questioned about Ukraine," she said, per another NPR transcript. "He asked, 'do you think Americans care about Ukraine?' He used the F-word in that sentence and many others." She says he then demanded to know whether she could locate Ukraine on a map; when she said yes, he had aides bring out a world map that did not include any writing, and she pointed to the country, at which point he had the map taken away. "He said, 'people will hear about this.'" The Guardian notes Pompeo typically only gives interviews to "conservative or evangelical Christian media or outlets from his home state of Kansas." (More Mike Pompeo stories.)

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