Pompeo Gets Caught Up in His Lies About NPR Interview
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo got caught lying yesterday about his contentious interview with veteran NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly. Pompeo claimed that his staff had an understanding with Kelly that she would only ask him questions about Iran and when she also grilled him about the Ukraine scandal he accused her of lying to him and flew into a rage.
Guardian: "Pompeo, who reportedly subjected Kelly to an expletive-ridden rant in his private living room after an interview during which he was asked about his role in the Ukraine scandal, issued a statement in which he accused the reporter of violating “the basic rules of journalism and decency”.
He wasn't done, however, and the State Department issued a statement yesterday accusing Kelly of being part of a "conspiracy" to undermine the Trump administration.
Guardian: In a sharply-worded statement issued by the state department, Pompeo accused the reporter, Mary Louise Kelly, of lying to him and being part of an “unhinged” media conspiracy “in a quest to hurt President Trump and this administration”.
The problem with Pompeo's bizarre accusations is that they weren't true and he must have known that because there is an email trail that clearly shows that Kelly planned to ask questions about Ukraine. And yesterday, after Pompeo's statements about the encounter, NPR released the email trail to prove it.
In the emails, Pompeo's aide, Katie Martin, tried to limit the questions to Iran, but Kelly made it clear that she would also question Pompeo about Ukraine and other matters saying, “I am indeed just back from Tehran and plan to start there. Also Ukraine. And who knows what the news gods will serve up overnight. I never agree to take anything off the table.”
So, what to make of this encounter? First, among conservatives, bashing National Public Radio is never a bad thing; it's more like a hobby. And President Trump has set the precedent for attacking the press generally. Second, Pompeo is quite aware that the majority of Trump supporters don't listen to NPR. If they turn on their radios, it's tuned to Rush or Sean Hannity and neither are likely to present a balanced view of the controversy.
And, there may be another explanation. Pompeo is under a lot of pressure after the Iran bombing fiasco and the recent reports of head trauma casualties among the troops, his refusal to support his ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, and he probably also had advance notice that national security adviser John Bolton's book was going to reignite the Ukraine scandal. Perhaps Pompeo is just frustrated that his once promising political career is slipping away, tainted by his association with Donald Trump and the administration's seemingly endless list of improprieties.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content