close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
AFP
January 26, 2020

Pompeo loses his temper over Ukraine questions

World

AFP
January 26, 2020

WASHINGTON: Shouts, glares and unprintable words: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lost his temper at a journalist after she questioned him on the administration’s stance on Ukraine, the country at the heart of President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.

It began when Pompeo gave an early morning interview to NPR radio. Much of the discussion dealt with Iran, but journalist Mary Louise Kelly closed by asking Pompeo about Ukraine.

Trump is on trial in the US Senate after being impeached by the Democratic-controlled House for abuse of office. He is accused of pressuring Kiev to investigate his potential election challenger Joe Biden, and of blocking congressional efforts to probe that abuse.

Pompeo, a close associate of Trump, has himself been criticized for failing to defend Marie Yovanovitch, Washington’s former ambassador to Ukraine who was abruptly called home last spring after being subjected to what she said was a "smear campaign" led by Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer.

"Do you owe Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch an apology?" Kelly asked Pompeo. A tense exchange followed, wherein Pompeo said he had "defended every State Department official," while Kelly asked, in vain, when he had publicly defended Yovanovitch.

"I’ve said all I’m going to say today. Thank you," Pompeo said finally, ending the interview. But the story didn’t end there, and Kelly related the rest in an NPR broadcast on Friday evening, an account which Pompeo on Saturday disputed.

She said she thanked the secretary, who did not reply but leaned in and glared at her before leaving the room. A staffer then invited Kelly to Pompeo’s private living room, without her recorder.