Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cut an interview short, cursed out a reporter and bizarrely demanded that she point out Ukraine on a map after she asked him Friday about a matter at the heart of President Trump’s impeachment.
The hot-headed secretary exploded after NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly asked him whether he owed an apology to Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who was abruptly removed by Trump last year after she expressed concern about his plot to pressure the country into opening investigations of his Democratic rivals.
“I agreed to come on your show today to talk about Iran,” Pompeo fumed.
But the reporter pointed out that she had confirmed with Pompeo’s staff that she would ask questions about Ukraine, in addition to Iran.
“I’ve defended every single person on this team. I’ve done what’s right for every single person on this team,” Pompeo insisted.
Asked for a specific instance in which Pompeo offered a defense for Yovanovitch, the secretary demurred.
“I’ve said all I’m going to say today,” he bristled before cutting the interview short and leaving the room.
But Pompeo wasn’t done.
Kelly said on the air that Pompeo brought her into his private living room after the mics were turned off and began shouting at her.
“He was not happy to have been questioned about Ukraine,” she said. “He asked, ‘do you think Americans care about Ukraine?’ He used the F-word in that sentence and many others.”
Then came the map moment.
“He asked if I could find Ukraine on a map,” Kelly said. “I said ‘yes,’ and he called out for aides to bring us a map of the world with no writing. I pointed to Ukraine. He put the map away. He said, ‘People will hear about this.’”