White House

Pompeo Confirms He Was on Trump’s Call with Ukrainian President

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to the media at the United Nations in New York City, N.Y., January 26, 2019. (Carlo Allegri/REUTERS)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed on Wednesday that he was on the high-profile July call between President Trump and Volodymyr Zelensky, the first time he has publicly admitted to listening to the call, despite being asked several times previously.

“I was on the call,” Pompeo told reporters during a news conference with the Italian foreign minister in Rome.

Asked if he was concerned that anything said on the call may have perverted U.S. policy toward Ukraine, Pompeo argued that the policy has remained consistent.

“I know precisely what the American policy is with respect to Ukraine. It’s been remarkably consistent,” he said. “We will continue to try to drive those set of outcomes. It’s what our team, including Ambassador Volker, were focused on . . . taking down the threat that Russia poses to the Ukraine. It was about helping the Ukrainians get graft out, corruption outside of their government.”

On Tuesday, Pompeo issued a statement condemning Democrats for the recent impeachment push “as an attempt to intimidate, bully, & treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the Department of State.” The statement came in response to a series of subpoenas from the House Foreign Affairs, Oversight, and Intelligence committees demanding State Department documents and testimony from officials.

Democrats continue to look into the content and context of the July phone call between President Trump and the Ukrainian president, in which Trump suggested that Zelensky investigate the business dealings of Hunter Biden, amidst the slow-walking of $250 million in U.S. military aid to Ukraine.

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