Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held a press conference on Monday and he really, really didn’t want to talk about impeachment. During his press conference, Pompeo was asked a number of questions about the impeachment inquiry but he shunned nearly all of them.
During one back-and-forth, Pompeo said, “I’m not going to get into the issues surrounding the Democratic impeachment inquiry, just not going to do it today.” He added later, “I’m proud of what this administration’s done with respect to Ukraine … President Trump’s policies have been consistent throughout.”
"I'm not going to get into the issues surrounding the Democrat impeachment inquiry," Sec. Mike Pompeo says when questioned about criticism whether he has properly defended State Dept. employees. "Just not going to do it today." https://t.co/JsAo4rT8TM pic.twitter.com/GpOHZ83uQZ— ABC News (@ABC) November 18, 2019
At another point in the press conference, Pompeo shot down other questions about impeachment, saying “I don’t have anything else to say about the Democrats’ impeachment proceedings. If somebody else has a substantive question about something the world cares deeply about, I’m happy to take it.”
Pompeo: "I don't have anything else to say about the Democrats' impeachment proceedings. If somebody else has a substantive question about something the world cares deeply about, I'm happy to take it." pic.twitter.com/tGjskvsNku— The Hill (@thehill) November 18, 2019
The State Department has been at the center of the impeachment inquiry as a number of the witnesses called to testify in the inquiry have been former or current employees of the State Department.
Pompeo also spoke about Ukraine, which has been central to the impeachment inquiry. Democrats accuse the president of holding up aid to Ukraine in exchange for an investigation into the Bidens. In a call with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Trump said, “I would like you to do us a favor though” before asking for an investigation. Democrats say that amounts to a quid pro quo.
And Trump has attacked a number of State Department figures who have appeared before Congress, when asked if he would defend State Department employees, Pompeo answered, “I always defend State Department employees.”
Trump has reportedly become frustrated with Pompeo after diplomats have appeared before Congress to testify on impeachment. Specifically, Trump is upset with his Secretary of State for bringing on Bill Taylor, the United States ambassador to Ukraine who testified before the House Intelligence Committee last week.