Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he isn’t sweating the House’s impeachment inquiry.
In an interview with The Wichita Eagle Thursday, Pompeo said that he doesn’t think that the impeachment inquiry has damaged his image or leadership at the State Department.
“I don’t think about that stuff. I work hard,” Pompeo said. “I do the right thing as best I can tell every day. I try to make sure my team is similarly focused.”
Pompeo then seemed to take aim at the media for its coverage of testimonies from State Department officials, including top Ukraine diplomat Bill Taylor, related to the House’s impeachment probe.
“You all talk about this noise an awful lot, that you all are fixated on this. The State Department you should know is not,” Pompeo said. “And whatever the noise is in Washington or whatever some journalist wants to ask about some storyline that’s going on, the American people should know that the State Department will continue to do its mission.”
When asked about Taylor’s damning testimony this week, which mentioned how Taylor sent Pompeo a cable in August expressing his issues regarding the delay of military aid to Ukraine, the secretary of state refused to comment.
“Yeah, I’m not going to talk about [the] inquiry this morning,” Pompeo said.
Pressed again on whether he relayed his concerns to Trump, Pompeo once again dodged the question.
“Look, I came here today to talk about workforce development. I came here today to talk about the great things that are going on here in Kansas,” Pompeo said. “This inquiry will proceed. Congress will perform its oversight function, the State Department will continue to do all of the things that were required to do under the law and the Constitution. We understand their role.”
Despite refusing to directly comment on the impeachment inquiry, Pompeo seemed to offer his thoughts on the various congressional depositions a day after House Republicans stormed the SCIF during top Pentagon official Laura Cooper’s testimony Wednesday.
“We’re not even allowed to make sure that our officers and civil servants are protected. We’re not allowed to have State Department officials in the hearing room to ensure that the information that we work with — when our allies share information with us, we have an obligation to protect that information,” Pompeo said. “We don’t have anybody in the room to make sure that that State Department official who is testifying is able to protect that. That’s not right. It’s not fair.”
Earlier in the interview, Pompeo said that the House’s impeachment inquiry hasn’t affected his consideration of a run for the U.S. Senate in Kansas. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Republicans are concerned about retiring Sen. Pat Roberts’ (R-KS) seat and would much prefer Pompeo to current contender and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
Earlier this week, Pompeo argued that the now-infamous call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky that showed efforts to manufacture false allegations against the Bidens is merely “nature of politics, of power, of foreign interactions.”