Watch Mike Pompeo Play Dumb About Trump’s Phone Call With Ukraine

The Secretary of State goes to stunning efforts to avoid divulging that he was on the call.

Alexander Shcherbak/ZUMA

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The Wall Street Journal’s report late Monday revealing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took part in the July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky is attracting fresh scrutiny of an interview Pompeo gave during a September 22 segment of This Week, in which he appears to have gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid revealing his involvement in the phone conversation at the center of Trump’s impeachment proceedings.

“I want to turn to this whistleblower complaint, Mr. Secretary,” ABC’s Martha Raddatz said. “What do you know about those conversations?”

“So, you just gave me a report about an IC whistleblower complaint, none of which I’ve seen,” Pompeo responded with a chuckle, sidestepping her question. Instead, he repeats one of Trump’s misleading talking points on the Ukraine scandal. “I remember the previous administration was begged by the Ukrainian people to deliver defensive arms so that they could protect themselves from Vladimir Putin and Russia—and they gave them blankets.”

But Raddatz wasn’t having it. Clearly sensing evasion, she interrupted: “You say you know nothing about this. Let me ask you this question…Do you think it’s ‘perfectly fine’ to ask a foreign leader to investigate a political opponent?”

“I think I saw a statement from the Ukrainian foreign minister yesterday say there was no pressure applied in the course of the conversation,” Pompeo said. He then launched into an attack against the Biden family. 

Let’s contrast that to what we learned this week: According to the WSJ, “Pompeo was among the administration officials who listened in on the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukraine’s president, a senior State Department official”—a crucial detail the secretary of state conveniently fails to mention in his September 22 interview.

On Tuesday, Pompeo announced that he’ll block State Department officials from testifying to Congress about the Ukraine call. 

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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