U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday accused a National Public Radio reporter of lying to him and violating “the basic rules of journalism and decency” after she said Pompeo repeatedly cursed at her following a testy interview quoting Reuters.
NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly said on Friday that Pompeo cursed at her and repeatedly “used the F-word” in a shouted diatribe after she questioned him about Ukraine and the ousted American ambassador to Kiev during a nine-minute interview.
In a statement on Saturday, Pompeo said Kelly had lied to him twice – once in setting up the interview, and then again in agreeing to conduct their post-interview conversation off the record.
“It is shameful that this reporter chose to violate the basic rules of journalism and decency. This is another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt President (Donald) Trump and this Administration,” Pompeo said.
“It is no wonder that the American people distrust many in the media when they so consistently demonstrate their agenda and their absence of integrity.”
The dispute centers on an interview that Kelly conducted with Pompeo for NPR’s “All Things Considered” program in which she asked him about Iran and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was ousted by Trump last May.
Yovanovitch’s removal was a key event in the actions that prompted the Republican president’s impeachment last month in the Democratic-led House of Representatives on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Kelly said she had informed Pompeo’s aides that she would ask about Iran and Ukraine. During the interview, she posed several questions, including whether Pompeo owed an apology to Yovanovitch, who testified last year in the House impeachment inquiry about her ouster. The incident also has figured in Trump’s impeachment trial in the Republican-led Senate.
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