An NPR reporter claimed that her questions so angered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he "screamed and cursed" at her in private and demanded that she point out Ukraine on a globe.
The alleged interaction happened after Pompeo cut short an interview where Mary Louise Kelly pressed him on whether he supported Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.
"I've defended every single person on this team," Pompeo said to Kelly. "I've done what's right for every single person on this team."
Yovanovitch is a central figure of the impeachment trial since the president's allies accuse her of standing in the way of investigations into corruption that could have implicated Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. She and other critics of President Donald Trump say he needed to sideline her in order to pursue politically motivated probes.
"I've said all I'm going to say today," Pompeo said when Kelly peppered him with questions about Yovanovitch. "Thank you. Thanks for the repeated opportunity to do so. I appreciate that."
Kelly claims that after he cut short the interview that he leaned in and glared at her for several seconds. Pompeo then had her escorted to his private living room in the State Department where he berated her and cursed at her, according to her account.
She said that he asked her, "do you think Americans care about Ukraine?" with an expletive included, and also said, "People will hear about this."
Pompeo also allegedly demanded that Kelly point to Ukraine on a map, which she claims she did.
Critics of Pompeo were sharing the audio of the recorded exchange on social media.
Here's part of the NPR interview:
Job well done, @NPRKelly. Sadly, Mike Pompeo’s crude inappropriate behavior is not surprising. This is the Trump Ad… https://t.co/LXeNVboJcq— Karine Jean-Pierre (@Karine Jean-Pierre)1579918550.0