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, a 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.
Democrats accuse Trump of abusing his office by pressuring Kiev to investigate his potential election challenger Joe Biden, a charge for which Trump has been impeached and is currently facing trial in the US Senate. Pompeo, a close associate of Trump, has been accused of personally failing to defend Marie Yovanovitch, Washington’s former ambassador to Ukraine who was abruptly called home last spring after being subjected to 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.