An NPR reporter alleged on Friday that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lashed out at her after an interview in which she pressed him on the ouster of former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
"All Things Considered" host Mary Louise Kelly sat down with Pompeo on Friday morning. According to a released transcript and audio recording of the interview, she began with a lengthy conversation about ongoing tensions with Iran but quickly changed the subject to Ukraine.
"Do you owe Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch an apology?" Kelly asked.
"You know, I agreed to come on your show today to talk about Iran. That's what I intend to do," Pompeo responded. "I know what our Ukraine policy has been now for the three years of this administration. I'm proud of the work we've done. This administration delivered the capability for the Ukrainians to defend themselves. President Obama showed up with MREs [meals ready to eat]. We showed up with Javelin missiles. The previous administration did nothing to take down corruption in Ukraine. We're working hard on that. We're going to continue to do it."
Kelly told Pompeo that she had "confirmed" with the secretary's staff that they would talk about Ukraine as well as Iran.
"I just don't have anything else to say about that this morning," Pompeo doubled down.
After claiming he had defended "every State Department official," Pompeo was pressed by Kelly to say when he specifically defended Yovanovitch.
"I've defended every single person on this team. I've done what's right for every single person on this team," Pompeo reiterated. "I've said all I'm going to say today. Thank you. Thanks for the repeated opportunity to do so. I appreciate that."
The interview quickly wrapped up, but according to NPR, tensions rose immediately after.
"A few moments later, an aide asked Kelly to follow her into Pompeo's private living room at the State Department without a recorder. The aide did not say the ensuing exchange would be off the record," NPR reported. "Inside the room, Pompeo shouted his displeasure at being questioned about Ukraine. He used repeated expletives, according to Kelly, and asked, 'Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?'"
Kelly also alleged during the radio program on Friday that he asked her if she could point out Ukraine on a map and had a staffer bring a blank map to them to prove it, which she said she did.
A State Department official disputed Kelly's claim, telling Fox News that she was not able to identify Ukraine on the map and that she was wrong.
Fox News' John Roberts contributed to this report.