National Public Radio reporter Mary Louise Kelly says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went ballistic Friday after she repeatedly asked him about the Ukraine, prompting him to cut short an interview. Kelly recounted the incident during a “coda” following the broadcast of her interview with Pompeo, beginning at the 9:30 mark in the clip below:
USA Today reports: [Pompeo] grew extremely irritated by Kelly’s Ukraine questions, according to NPR. In an account released with the interview transcript, Kelly said she was taken to the secretary of State’s private living room after the interview, where Pompeo was waiting for her. “He shouted at me for about same amount of time as the interview itself. He was not happy to have been questioned about Ukraine,” Kelly said. She said he used the F-word and “many others” when he asking her if Americans cared about Ukraine. He then asked her if she could find Ukraine on a map. “I said yes, and he called out for aides to bring us a map of the world with no writing. I pointed to Ukraine,” she recounted. Then he said: “‘People will hear about this.’”
More from the Hill: Pompeo is a key figure in the impeachment trial against Trump following testimony from multiple officials about an effort by the president’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to push for the removal of then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch in order to clear the way to pressure the Ukrainian government to announce investigations that would politically benefit Trump. The secretary has been accused of failing to protect Yovanovitch from a smear campaign spearheaded by Giuliani and has responded vaguely to allegations that the ambassador was under surveillance and her safety at risk by a Giuliani associate. Pompeo has rarely given media interviews to mainstream outlets, typically speaking with conservative news or local outlets when traveling outside of Washington. The secretary said he agreed to sit down with NPR’s Kelly to discuss the administration’s strategy on Iran.