Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, revealed Thursday that special counsel Robert Mueller has interviewed him as part of his Russia investigation.
“I spoke with special counsel Mueller, who interviewed me. He requested an interview. I cooperated,” Pompeo told Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) during his confirmation hearing.
Menendez questioned Pompeo, who is the current director of the CIA, about his involvement in the investigation, but Pompeo refused to answer because it is ongoing.
“I think it is most appropriate that while these investigations continue, I not speak to the conversations I’ve had with the various investigative bodies,” he said.
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Pompeo also declined to answer questions about private conversations he may have had with President Trump about the investigation, noting that he would be “happy” to speak about the administration’s policies and work.
Menendez appeared unhappy with his responses and said he did not think the special counsel would have instructed Pompeo not to speak to Congress about the interview.
“For me, these questions being answered truthfully in a forthcoming way are critically important,” Menendez told him. “It goes to the essence of how you approach one of the most critical issues that we have, and your unwillingness to speak to it is troubling to me.”
Last June, The Washington Post reported that President Trump asked Pompeo and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to intervene in the Russia probe by convincing then-FBI Director James Comey to refocus his attention away from Michael Flynn.
Pompeo said Thursday that the president never asked him to “anything improper.”