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Mike Pompeo Doubles Down on NPR Reporter Attack, Radio Network Defends Her ‘Utmost Integrity’

”We stand behind this report,“ NPR says in a statement

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly on Saturday of lying about a heated encounter after an interview, saying she “chose to violate the basic rules of journalism and decency.”

“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 off the record,” Pompeo said in a statement Saturday. “It is shameful that this reporter chose to violate the basic rules of journalism and decency. This is another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt President Trump and this Administration.”

In response to Pompeo’s comments, NPR’s senior vice president for news Nancy Barnes said, “Mary Louise Kelly has always conducted herself with the utmost integrity, and we stand behind this report.”

In the referenced interview, which aired Friday on “Morning Edition,” Kelly asked Pompeo several questions about the Ukraine scandal that led Congress to impeach President Trump. Pompeo repeatedly declined to answer her questions and, at one point, said he had only agreed to speak about Iran. Kelly replied that his staff signed off on questions about both Iran and Ukraine.

Later Friday, Kelly said Pompeo berated her in his private living room, using the f-word, asking if she thought Americans cared about Ukraine and then asking her to identify Ukraine on an unmarked map, which she said she did.

Pompeo disputed her account of the events, concluding in his Saturday statement, “It is worth noting that Bangladesh is NOT Ukraine.”