Trump Praises Pompeo for Cursing Out Female Reporter: “You Did a Good Job on Her”

Prompting loud laughter and applause from his audience.

Gripas Yuri/ZUMA

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Halfway into his remarks at the White House unveiling the administration’s long-awaited Middle East peace plan, President Donald Trump on Tuesday found a moment to lavish praise on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who in recent days has been accused of bullying a female NPR reporter.

“That’s impressive Mike,” Trump said. “That reporter couldn’t have done too good a job on you.” He then paused before adding the punchline, “I think you did a good job on her, actually.”

The remarks delighted audience members, some of whom seemed both shocked and thrilled by the jab at NPR reporter and All Things Considered host Mary Louise Kelly. Last Friday, Kelly revealed that Pompeo had recently berated her with expletives after she asked about his role in the Ukraine scandal at the center of impeachment. The conflict extended into the weekend when on Saturday, Pompeo, in turn, accused her of blindsiding him in the interview, adding a snarky comment suggesting that Kelly, who received a master’s degree in European history from Cambridge, was unable to identify Ukraine on a map. Pompeo’s claim of having been lied to about the substance of the interview, however, quickly fell apart when emails between Kelly and the State Department acknowledging that questions on Ukraine had been agreed to were made public. 

Trump, looking visibly pleased with himself, quickly returned to his teleprompter remarks on Tuesday. But the jarring moment appeared to reveal the general approach of Pompeo’s State Department, where officials have remained silent over its decision to bar NPR’s diplomatic correspondent from an upcoming overseas trip with Pompeo. It also emphatically telegraphed the president’s approval of Pompeo’s treatment of both the media and women, two groups that Trump has openly and frequently disdained. 

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate