ALL NEWS

Pompeo confirms he was on Trump’s Ukraine telephone call

Oct 2, 2019, 6:19 AM
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets the media in Rome, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. U.S. Secretar...
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets the media in Rome, Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Italy at the start of a four-nation tour of Europe as the push to impeach President Donald Trump gains steam at home. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

 

ROME (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed on Wednesday that he was on the telephone call between President Donald Trump and the Ukrainian president that is the subject of an impeachment inquiry back in Washington.

“I was on the phone call,” Pompeo said in Rome during a news conference with his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio.

Pompeo did not say whether he thought the contents of the July 25 call were inappropriate or whether he believed they warranted the complaint of an intelligence community whistleblower at the center of the impeachment probe.

“The phone call was in the context of … what the American policy is with respect to Ukraine,” he said. “It’s been remarkably consistent, and we will continue to try to drive those set of outcomes.”

Pompeo said he was proud to work with the State Department’s Ukraine team, including former special envoy Kurt Volker, who connected Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to an aide of Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to help the country fight corruption and combat Russian aggression.

“It’s what our team, including Ambassador Volker, were focused on,” Pompeo said. “It was taking down the threat that Russia poses there in Ukraine. It was about helping the Ukrainians get graft out and corruption outside of their government and to help now this new government in the Ukraine build a successful, thriving economy.”

“It’s been what State Department officials that I have had the privilege to lead have been engaged in, and it’s what we will continue to do even while all this noise is going on,” he said.

Volker resigned abruptly from the special envoy position last Friday after Giuliani suggested the department was well aware of his efforts to get Ukraine to open a corruption probe into former Vice President Joe Biden’s son.

Pompeo is under increasing scrutiny from House Democrats leading impeachment proceedings against Trump. On Tuesday, he pushed back on House demands for interviews with State Department officials about the administration’s dealings with Ukraine that are at the center of the inquiry.

Pompeo defended his response to the House committee chairmen, who have suggested that Pompeo’s participation in the Trump-Zelenskiy call should require him to recuse himself from decisions on how to deal with Congress.

Pompeo asserted that House investigators contacted “State Department employees directly” and told them not to contact State Department lawyers for advice. He said the State Department would “do our Constitutional duty to cooperate” with Congress but wouldn’t tolerate “bullying and intimidation.”

“We will of course do our constitutional duty to cooperate with this co-equal branch, but we are going to do so in a way that is consistent with the fundamental values of the American system,” Pompeo said. “And we won’t tolerate folks on Capitol Hill bullying and intimidating State Department employees. That’s unacceptable, and it’s not something that I’m going to permit to happen.”

Earlier Wednesday, Pompeo criticized governments that wield absolute power as threats to religious freedom, telling a conference at the Vatican on human dignity and faith that when governments hold all the power, religion is a threat.

“When the state rules absolutely, human dignity is trampled, not cherished,” he said. “When the state rules absolutely, moral norms are crushed completely. When the state rules absolutely, it demands its citizens worship government, not God.”

He cited China, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar and Syria in particular for repressing religious freedom.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

Trucks are lined up for sale at Low Book Sales in Lindon on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022. Most new vehicl...
Heather Kelly

Automatic emergency braking should only be used as a last resort

AAA of Utah says automatic emergency braking systems have limitations and should only be used as a last resort to prevent a crash.
24 hours ago
Ballpark Station closes Thursday night due to a debris on the tracks. Photo credit: Salt Lake City ...
Devin Oldroyd

Utah Transit Authority closes Ballpark Station due to debris on tracks

Ballpark Station closes Thursday night due to a debris on the tracks.
24 hours ago
Utah airbnb rentals rising interest rates affecting millennial home buyers...
Mark Jones

Eviction filings on the rise in Utah, compared to this time last year

The Rental Housing Association of Utah says eviction filings in Utah saw a 46% increase in the first six months of this year as compared to the same time in 2021.
24 hours ago
(Getty Images)...
Mark Jones

21-year-old man sentenced for multiple sex crimes

A 21-year-old man was sentenced Wednesday for four sex crimes he pled guilty to in August.
24 hours ago
university of utah...
Mark Jones

University of Utah Health among the nation’s top 10 for 13th year in row

The 2022 Vizient Bernard A. Birnbaum, MD, Quality Leadership Award has ranked University of Utah Health in the top 10 for the 13th straight year.
24 hours ago
utah employment...
Alejandro Lucero

Annual Golden Key Awards presented to local businesses

Golden Key Awards recognize the people and businesses who believe in Utahns with disabilities, said a press release. Nine businesses were recognized today.
24 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Pompeo confirms he was on Trump’s Ukraine telephone call