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State Dept. retaliates against NPR after blowup with Mike Pompeo

Even the ACLU weighed in on this one

Al Drago/Getty Images

The Department of State is being accused of retaliating against National Public Radio over a report that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blew up at one of its reporters over questioning about Ukraine.

The president of the State Department Correspondents' Association released a statement criticizing the State Dept. for shutting out NPR reporter Michele Kelemen from the press pool for a trip with Pompeo to Europe.

"We can only conclude that the State Department is retaliating against National Public Radio as a result of this exchange," Shaun Tandon said.

"Michele is a consummate professional who has covered the State Department for nearly two decades," Tandon added. "We respectfully ask the State Department to reconsider and allow Michele to travel on the plane for this trip."

Pompeo reportedly blew up at NPR's Mary Louise Kelly after she pressed him on whether he ever put out a statement of support for the former ambassador to Ukraine who was removed from her post.

Kelly claimed that Pompeo cursed and screamed at her and that he demanded that she point out Ukraine on a map.

Pompeo later criticized Kelly for reporting what he said was off the record, but he did not dispute her account of their interaction.

A spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union also criticized the State Dept. for its action against NPR.

"The State Department cannot retaliate against a news outlet because one of its reporters asked tough questions. It is the job of reporters to ask the tough questions, not be polite company," read the statement.

Here's more about the Pompeo blowup:

www.youtube.com

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