November 19, 2019

David Hale, Trump's under secretary of state for political affairs, testified behind closed doors that Mike Pompeo called Sean Hannity earlier this year to ask about the smear campaign against Marie Yovanovitch, according to a transcript that was made public last night. Via the Daily Beast:

Discussing efforts by Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and pro-Trump media to besmirch the reputation of Yovanovitch ahead of her ouster as ambassador, Hale noted that Pompeo spoke to Giuliani twice in late March regarding the allegations.

[...] Hale’s testimony tracks with that of both Yovanovitch and senior State Department official George Kent, who both said it was their understanding that Pompeo or someone from State called the Fox host to see “what is going on” with coverage of the allegations.

Hannity, meanwhile, has repeatedly denied that Pompeo contacted him at the time, calling the testimony “fake news” and insisting that he barely covered Yovanovitch during the spring, claiming that he didn’t “know anything about this woman.” He has also threatened to file a lawsuit if officials didn’t “stop spreading bogus rumors and smears about” him.

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