Mike Pompeo Goes Postal on NPR Reporter

Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images via ZUMA

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Now here’s a story. NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly interviewed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo yesterday. After asking a bunch of questions about Iran, she switched subjects to Ukraine. Pompeo got pissed off even though his staff had agreed that Ukraine could be part of the interview. Kelly asked Pompeo if he thought he owed an apology to Marie Yovanovitch, the ambassador to Ukraine who was fired last year for not being helpful enough with President Trump’s scheme to extort an investigation of Hunter Biden. Pompeo was not happy with the question. Kelly persisted: Should he have defended Yovanovitch? Pompeo said he defended everyone at the State Department. Kelly asked if he could point to remarks where he had defended Yovanovitch. Pompeo abruptly cut off the interview and stalked off.

But wait! There’s more:


Pompeo took out a map and asked Kelly to point to Ukraine! With F-bombs! What a dick. But today there’s even yet more:

So Pompeo accused Kelly of lying twice: first in breaking an agreement to confine the interview to Iran, and second in breaking an agreement to allow Pompeo to have his temper tantrum off the record. Then he implies that Kelly pointed to Bangladesh and thought it was Ukraine.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Pompeo is the one lying about all this stuff. Kelly set up her interview properly. She was asked to leave behind her recording equipment for Pompeo’s tirade, but not told it was off the record. And she knows perfectly well where Ukraine is.

Welcome to Donald Trump’s Washington.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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