Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was backed into a rather uncomfortable corner during an interview with Mary Louise Kelly on NPR’s Morning Edition. Although Pompeo wanted to stick to the topic of Iran, Kelly pivoted to the Ukraine scandal and specifically wanted to know how he responded to criticism from State Department personnel who resigned after Pompeo failed to back U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch while she was being targeted by nefarious characters outside the U.S. government while she was doing her assigned work combatting corruption in Ukraine. Time and time again, Pompeo insisted he’d defended all State Department personnel. A blatant lie, one he struggled to defend.
Listen to or read the exchange below and keep in mind that Mike Pompeo has never uttered one word in support of Ambassador Yovanovitch or any of the other dedicated, career diplomats who refused to participate in the corrupt plans of Donald Trump and his enablers, like Mike Pompeo.
MARY LOUISE KELLY: 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.”
MIKE POMPEO: I...I...I don’t know— I don’t know who these unnamed sources are you’re referring to. I can tell you this—
MARY LOUISE KELLY: These are not unnamed sources. This is your senior advisor 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 for foreign service employees caught up in the impeachment inquiry on Ukraine.
MIKE POMPEO: I’m not going to comment on things that Mr. McKinley may have said. I’ll say only this. I have defended every State Department official. We’ve built a great team. The team that works here is doing amazing work around the world—
MARY LOUISE KELLY: Sir, respectfully, where have you defended Marie Yovanovitch?
MIKE POMPEO: I’ve defended every single person on this team. I’ve done what’s right for every single person on this team.
MARY LOUISE KELLY: Can you point me toward your remarks where you have defended Marie Yovanovitch?
MIKE POMPEO: I’ve said all I’m going to say today. Thank you.
The audio of the Pompeo NPR interview is available below, but there is ample new evidence today about the Ukraine scandal and Mike Pompeo’s involvement. ABC News obtained a taped conversation reportedly of Donald Trump with Lev Parnas, Igor Fruman, Rudy Giuliani, and others. The conversation took place on April 30, 2018, in a suite at Trump’s D.C. hotel, where the gang was having a private dinner where they discussed the Ukraine scheme. Trump can be heard demanding Yovanovitch’s ouster, saying "Get her out tomorrow. I don't care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. Okay? Do it."
Lev Parnas recalled this dinner conversation during an interview with MSNBC. After all, dining with a U.S. president in a private suite in his private hotel would be rather memorable, no?
"We all, there was a silence in the room. He responded to him, said Mr. President, we can't do that right now because [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo hasn't been confirmed yet, that Pompeo is not confirmed yet and we don't have -- this is when [former Secretary of State Rex] Tillerson was gone, but Pompeo was confirmed, so they go, wait until -- so several conversations he mentioned it again."
This new recording, which backs up what Parnas claimed, is all the more reason Mike Pompeo should testify before the Senate during the impeachment trial. The conversation took place the very same week Mike Pompeo was sworn in, which means he was aware of and/or participated in the scheme from the minute he walked through the doors of the State Department.
Either way you slice it, Mike Pompeo has been earning a reputation as a liar, which is a rather untenable position for the secretary of state to be in while they are representing the United States around the world. The American people, and most especially our foreign service officers, deserve someone of the highest ethical and moral standards in the role.
Mike Pompeo — who refused a House subpoena — would be a top witness for Democrats in the impeachment trial.
He is not set to testify, but he spoke to @NPRKelly. She asked the secretary of state if he would defend Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch: pic.twitter.com/1YoGWOSdqb
— Morning Edition (@MorningEdition) January 24, 2020
Published with permission from Daily Kos.
UPDATE (Karoli): But wait, there's more.
Wow. After pressing him on Ukraine, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly says he "shouted" at her for longer than the interview lasted, asked if she thought Americans cared about Ukraine, used the word fuck & had her point to Ukraine on an unmarked map. He said, "People will hear about this."
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) January 24, 2020