Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly cursed and shouted at an NPR reporter after she repeatedly confronted him about his handling of the politically charged ouster of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
According to a transcript of the interview between NPR host Mary Louise Kelly and Pompeo, he repeatedly dodged questions on Ukraine and grew increasingly irate after Kelly asked, “Do you owe Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch an apology?”
“You know, I agreed to come on your show today to talk about Iran,” Pompeo said before going on to insist, “I just don’t have anything else to say about that this morning.”
When Kelly kept grilling him and noted that some within the State Department had criticized his failure to stand up for Yovanovitch after she was fired amid what she described as a smear campaign orchestrated by President Trump, Pompeo sought to dismiss the criticism as being from “unnamed sources.”
But Kelly stopped him: “These are not unnamed sources. This is your senior adviser Michael McKinley, a career foreign service officer with four decades experience,” she said, reminding Pompeo that McKinley had testified on the matter under oath.
Declining to comment on McKinley, Pompeo insisted, “I have defended every State Department official,” only to end the interview when Kelly asked him to refer her to any comments he’d made in defense of Yovanovitch.
According to NPR, things grew even more heated after the interview had concluded, when Pompeo is said to have “silently glared” at Kelly before leaving the room. She was then reportedly asked to follow him without her recorder, but without any agreement that the following conversation would be off the record.
At that point, Pompeo reportedly challenged Kelly to find Ukraine on an unmarked map and asked, “Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?” He reportedly wrapped up the meeting by declaring that “people will hear about this.”