Trump Praises Pompeo for Cursing Out Female Reporter: “You Did a Good Job on Her”

Prompting loud laughter and applause from his audience.

Gripas Yuri/ZUMA

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Halfway into his remarks at the White House unveiling the administration’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan, President Donald Trump on Tuesday found a moment to lavish praise on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who in recent days has been accused of bullying a female NPR reporter.

“That’s impressive Mike,” Trump said. “That reporter couldn’t have done too good a job on you.” He then paused before adding the punchline, “I think you did a good job on her, actually.”

The remarks delighted audience members, some of whom seemed both shocked and thrilled by the jab at NPR reporter and All Things Considered host Mary Louise Kelly. Last Friday, Kelly revealed that Pompeo had recently berated her with expletives after she asked about his role in the Ukraine scandal at the center of impeachment. The conflict extended into the weekend when on Saturday, Pompeo, in turn, accused her of blindsiding him in the interview, adding a snarky comment suggesting that Kelly, who received a master’s degree in European history from Cambridge, was unable to identify Ukraine on a map. Pompeo’s claim of having been lied to about the substance of the interview, however, quickly fell apart when emails between Kelly and the State Department acknowledging that questions on Ukraine had been agreed to were made public. 

Trump, looking visibly pleased with himself, quickly returned to his teleprompter remarks on Tuesday. But the jarring moment appeared to reveal the general approach of Pompeo’s State Department, where officials have remained silent over its decision to bar NPR’s diplomatic correspondent from an upcoming overseas trip with Pompeo. It also emphatically telegraphed the president’s approval of Pompeo’s treatment of both the media and women, two groups that Trump has openly and frequently disdained. 

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate