Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Charlie Riedel/AP)
By Cathy Burke | Sunday, 20 October 2019 11:57 AM
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday accused House Intelligence head Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., of running a “kangaroo court” in the chamber’s impeachment inquiry.
In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Pompeo said he hopes foreign service officers who testify in the inquiry “speak truthfully” and “completely.”
“I only wish this was a process that merited such a response,” he said. “This has been unfair to the n-th degree,” he said, adding: “We’re not able to protect the State Department… the United States of America…. Adam Schiff ought to be embarrassed by the kangaroo court he's running."
Pompeo also was grilled on the details of former Ukraine diplomat Marie Yovanovitch's removal, but downplayed its timing.
“She was withdrawn from her post a handful of weeks early,” Pompeo said. “She still works at the State Department. She's a foreign service officer in good standing… ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the president. When a president loses confidence in an ambassador, it's not in that ambassador’s, the State Department or America's best interest for them to continue to stay in their post.”
And he refuted that former aide, Mike McKinley, was concerned about her removal.
“From the time that ambassador Yovanovitch departed Ukraine until the time that he came to tell me that he was departing, I never heard him say a single thing about his concerns,” he said.
Pompeo also pushed back on charges of low morale among his foreign service team.
"I see these stories about morale being low,” he said. “I see things precisely the opposite. I see motivated officers. I've watched them perform in Syria this week, perform in difficult situations during my year and a half as Secretary of State. I'm incredibly proud of the work they've done and I will always defend them when it's appropriate.”
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