Former national security adviser reportedly objected to mixing US national security priorities in Ukraine with Trump’s political concerns – follow live
Facing a crisis of faith in his leadership in the state department after his perceived failure to protect career diplomats from attacks by the president, Rudy Giuliani and others, secretary of state Mike Pompeo has denied a claim by his former aide that he ignored a request for a statement of support for ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.
Former Pompeo adviser Michael McKinley testified on 16 October that he had approached Pompeo three times about a statement of support for Yovanovitch, who was the target of a smear campaign in Ukraine led by Giuliani, and who was also singled out by Trump in his 25 July phone call with the Ukrainian president.
In presenting my resignation, I made clear that I was looking to leave the Department, I wasn’t looking to create any news story out of it, but that he should be aware that, of course, part of the reason, people were very aware that I was concerned about what I saw as the lack of public support for Department employees. …
Q: And what was the Secretary’s response when you said that?
Pompeo just totally denied the sworn testimony of his former adviser, who said he raised the Yovanovitch issue with him multiple times. “He didn’t say anything to me,” Pompeo said. “It shouldn’t surprise anyone that in May when that took place, he didn’t say anything to me.”
Side by side: Pompeo today vs 10 days ago on the Trump-Zelenskiy call pic.twitter.com/vVjrmosbWj
Trump is still rage-tweeting about the Washington Post scoop that attorney general William Barr refused a Trump request to go on TV and say a call between Trump and the Ukrainian president definitely, positively did not rise to the level of criminal conduct.
“We both deny this story, which they knew before they wrote it,” Trump tweeted.