RNA - The former CIA chief recently had a contentious exchange with National Public Radio (NPR) reporter Mary Louise Kelly, in which he used “many” instances of “the F-word.”
In an interview with Aigerim Toleukhanova of Radio Azattyq (Radio Free Europe) on Sunday, Pompeo raised the issue of press freedoms.
Journalists don’t sit down with senior officials to score political points. We do it in the service of asking tough questions, on behalf of our fellow citizens. And then sharing the answers—or lack thereof—with the world.
My take for @NYT: https://t.co/1L4zFtQKI0
— Mary Louise Kelly (@NPRKelly) January 29, 2020
“As a journalist, I’m sure you know the good work the State Department does to train journalists in press freedoms – all of those things that build out civil society inside of countries are things we’re deeply committed to. We’re here, we’re here to help, and we’ll continue to do that,” he said.
Pompeo, however, insisted that journalists are expected to behave a certain way, “telling the truth and being honest.”
“With respect to who travels with me, I always bring a big press contingent, but we ask for certain sets of behaviors, and that’s simply telling the truth and being honest. And when they’ll do that, they get to participate, and if they don’t, it’s just not appropriate.”
Pompeo bullied an NPR reporter, publicly insulted her intelligence, & State has now banned another NPR reporter from traveling with him. Meanwhile, Trump weighed in to say he’d like to see NPR go away entirely.
It's the stuff of authoritarian countries. https://t.co/0wXzGeyiPA
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 28, 2020
The US secretary of state also commented on his exchange with Kelly, denying that he had any “confrontational interview.”
“I didn’t have a confrontational interview with an NPR reporter any more than I have confrontational interviews all the time,” said the US top diplomat. “We take hundreds and hundreds of questions. We talk openly.”
Kelly made Pompeo angry by asking him in an interview on January 24 about former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was ousted by President Donald Trump last May.
After the interview, Kelly said Pompeo shouted at her “for about the same amount of time as the interview itself.”