President Trump complimented Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for his handling of a dispute with an NPR reporter Tuesday, making light of the incident and saying that Pompeo “did a good job on her.”
Per TheHill, Trump recognized Pompeo as “our great secretary of State” during remarks announcing his administration’s Middle East peace plan alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, before referencing his clash with the NPR reporter unprompted.
“That’s impressive. That was very impressive,” Trump said, commenting on the applause that Pompeo received from the crowd when he said his name. “That reporter couldn’t have done too good a job on you yesterday. I think you did a good job on her, actually.”
Per ABC News, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had attacked a National Public Radio reporter in a blistering statement Saturday after the network said the top U.S. diplomat admonished her using expletives, called her a liar and demanded she find Ukraine on a map.
NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly dismissed the idea that journalists interview top government officials to score “political points,” pushing back on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo‘s remarks following a clash between the pair after an interview last week.
Kelly, co-host of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” wrote in a New York Times op-ed on Tuesday night that being able to hold powerful people accountable is “both a privilege and a responsibility.”
“There is a reason that freedom of the press is enshrined in the Constitution. There is a reason it matters that people in positions of power — people charged with steering the foreign policy of entire nations — be held to account. The stakes are too high for their impulses and decisions not to be examined in as thoughtful and rigorous an interview as is possible,” she wrote.
Here is Pompeo’s official statement.
Secretary Pompeo doubles down, saying @NPRKelly lied, that the interaction was “another example of how unhinged the media has become,” and suggests that she was thousands of miles off in identifying Ukraine on a map, which… pic.twitter.com/NoevQglkKJ
— Ben Swasey (@benswasey) January 25, 2020