Egad, Mike Pompeo LIED About NPR Reporter?
After he had a hissy fit and yelled the fuck-word at NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly Friday, because she asked him questions about Ukraine, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a bullshit statement claiming Kelly had lied to him twice, and also that she was dumb and stupid and an unhinged Trump-hater made of pure evil. To the surprise of nobody, the Washington Post yesterday published emails between Kelly and Pompeo's press aide which show Pompeo was the actual liar. Imagine that!
Pompeo was very very upset, because after he'd avoided giving any clear answers on how the administration would "stop" Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, Kelly then asked him questions about his failure to support then-US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich, and he had to avoid answering those questions, too.
Following the interview, an aide summoned Kelly into Pompeo's private State Department Parlor of Shame, where America's top diplomat screamed at her and asked, "Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?" although Kelly noted he "used the F word in that sentence, and many others," so we are left wondering where the epithet went. We can see several options: Do you fucking think; fucking Americans care; Americans fucking care; or care about fucking Ukraine, plus various combinations. Precision is important and we hope this will be clarified for the record.
Pompeo then had an aide bring Kelly an unmarked world map and challenged her to point out Ukraine, which suggests he has a supply of blank maps to challenge reporters with. Kelly, a veteran foreign policy reporter, said she pointed to Ukraine all right, and, almost certainly suppressing the urge to ask whether Pompeo had ever played that parlor game with Donald Trump, thanked Pompeo for his time and left.
After the story left Pompeo looking like the complete asshole he is, he issued a press release insisting that Kelly was a very bad unethical reporter:
NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly lied to me, twice. First, last month, in setting up our interview and, then again yesterday, in agreeing to have our post-interview conversation off the record. It is shameful that this reporter chose to violate the basic rules of journalism and decency [...]
It is worth noting that Bangladesh is NOT Ukraine.
Normal people immediately mocked Pompeo even more, and Trumpers immediately took to Twitter to yell at Kelly for being fake news.
Now, Kelly had already, in her Friday story on the incident, said she had informed Pompeo's staff that she intended to ask questions about Ukraine and other topics beyond Iran (and she said so to Pompeo in the interview), and also that no, no staffers had asked the post-interview meeting be "off the record," and that she wouldn't have agreed to such a condition at all. The emails obtained by the Post certainly make clear Pompeo's staff wanted to restrict the interview to just one topic, but that Kelly never agreed to that. Here's the back-and-forth between Kelly and Pompeo's press aide, Katie Martin, the day prior to the interview:
Martin: Just wanted to touch base that we still intend to keep the interview to Iran tomorrow [...] Know you just got back from Tehran so we would like to stick to Iran as the topic as opposed to jumping around. Is that something we can agree to?
Kelly: 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.
Martin tried again, and Kelly again said nah, I'll ask what I ask, because that's how journamalism works.
Martin: Totally understand you want to ask other topics but just hoping . . . we can stick to that topic for a healthy portion of the interview . . . Wouldn't want to spend the interview on questions he's answered many times for the last several months.
Kelly: My plan is to start with Iran and, yes, to spend a healthy portion of the interview there. Iran has been my focus of late as well. And yes — I also would not want to waste time on questions he's answered many times in recent months.
We suppose Pompeo and company will seize on that very vague agreement that Kelly wouldn't want to "waste time on questions he's answered" and try to spin it into an ironclad promise not to mention Ukraine, but that's a bit undercut by Kelly's statement that she would "start with Iran," which clearly indicates she intended to go on from there.
Also, the Post notes, Pompeo has been awfully pissy toward lady reporters who dare ask him about his involvement with Trump and Giuliani's Ukrainian drug deal.
In October, he told a reporter for a Nashville TV station, Nancy Amons, that it "sounds like you're working, at least in part, for the Democratic National Committee" after she asked him about the circumstances surrounding Trump's withholding of military aid to Ukraine.
He made a similar comment to PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff when she broached the same topic a few days earlier.
But don't go assuming Mike Pompeo is some sort of sexist. We bet it was Kelly's reference to the "news gods" that really riled up Pompeo, who is a good Christian and will not stand for pagan talk like that from an uppity woman.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.