Pompeo Believes Trump ‘Made Clear’ That He Warned Lavrov Against Election Meddling

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listens to a question from a member of the media at the press briefing room of the State Department on December 11, 2019. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended the White House’s insistence that President Trump warned Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov against election meddling.

On Tuesday, Trump met with Lavrov at the White House and claimed that election meddling was brought up during the meeting, which was closed off to the press. According to the White House’s readout of the meeting, Trump “warned against any Russian attempts to interfere in United States elections” and “urged Russia to resolve the conflict with Ukraine.” Although Lavrov confirmed that election meddling was discussed, his account appeared to indicate that he brought up the issue himself.

According to a Politico report Wednesday, Pompeo began his defense of the White House’s claim by telling reporters that the discussion of Russian meddling “happened in every meeting I was in.”

“With respect to the discussion of Russian meddling, it happened in every meeting I was in,” Pompeo told reporters, according to Politico. “I think I was in three here at the State Department, and then over at the White House — I will leave to the White House to give the details of what is said.”

Pompeo added that despite how he doesn’t discuss “what the President says in those private settings,” he said he can confirm that Lavrov’s statement doesn’t accurately address what actually happened at the meeting.

“I never talk about what the President says in those private settings, but I can tell you that Foreign Minister Lavrov’s statement is not accurately a reflection of my recollection of that meeting,” Pompeo said, according to Politico.

Pompeo then argued that “there was no mistake that President Trump made clear in the meeting” that he “finds their meddling in our elections unacceptable.”

“And there was no mistake that President Trump made clear in the meeting that he had with Foreign Minister Lavrov and the rest of the Russian team that was there, that President Trump personally in America finds their meddling in our elections unacceptable, in the very same way that I had said it earlier to Foreign Minister Lavrov,” Pompeo said.

Watch a clip Pompeo’s remarks below:

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

TPM Staff
Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: