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Pompeo: NPR Host 'Lied to Me'

The Secretary of State reacts to story about his expletive-filled rant
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2020 11:45 AM CST
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a visit to an anti-narcotics police base in Bogota, Colombia, Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020.   (AP Photo/Ivan Valencia)

(Newser) – Mike Pompeo lashed out at an NPR host and "the media" Saturday after making a testy appearance on All Things Considered, USA Today reports. The Secretary of State accused the host, Mary Louise Kelly, of lying to him, though he didn't deny unloading on her afterward in an expletive-filled rant. "NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly lied to me, twice," Pompeo said in a statement. "First, last month, in setting up our interview and, then again yesterday, in agreeing to have our post-interview off the record." He went on to call the incident "shameful" and said it was "another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt President Trump and this Administration." At issue is his exchange with Kelly about former US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.

You can hear him getting upset when Kelly asks whether he owes Yovanovitch an apology for not supporting her during an alleged smear campaign by Rudy Giuliani and his associates. Kelly says he exploded after the interview, saying, "Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?" and suggesting she couldn't find Ukraine on a map—which she says she did, though Pompeo later said "Bangladesh is NOT Ukraine." In her defense, Pompeo didn't object when Kelly confirmed her plan to discuss Ukraine on the air, and Pompeo may have assumed their after-interview dispute was off the record. As for the map moment, Business Insider notes that Kelly is a longtime foreign correspondent with a master's degree in European studies from Cambridge University. (Read more Mike Pompeo stories.)

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