Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended the way President Donald Trump handled his phone call with Ukraine’s president as “appropriate.”
Speaking to Fox News anchor Martha MacCallum on Wednesday night’s “The Story with Martha MacCallum,” Pompeo also said he and his team were “incredibly focused” on “a couple of simple” goals regarding Ukraine strategy, which they’ve already succeeded in carrying out.
MacCallum introduced the topic by referencing Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s Tuesday testimony about a possible quid pro quo and whether some aspects of the July 25 call, which ultimately led to the ongoing House impeachment inquiry, were deleted from the transcript.
“We’re reporting on leaks from Democrats, who have a mission set to take down President Trump,” Pompeo said after noting that he isn’t sure what was actually said in the testimony. “What I know is I was on the call, I listened to the call. I thought the way the president handled it was appropriate. We were incredibly focused on a couple of simple things with respect to Ukraine strategy. We’ve executed on that.”
Part of the execution, the secretary of state insisted, was helping the “Ukrainian people and Ukrainian leadership fight back corruption” as well as providing “defensive weapon systems” to the country, something the prior administration failed to do. (RELATED: Lindsey Graham: ‘Not One Vote’ Among Senate Republicans To Remove Trump ‘Because He Did Nothing Wrong’)
Acknowledging inevitable “friction” that would take place inside an organization as large as the State Department, Pompeo also pushed back on allegations that Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani had a different strategy on Ukraine than the State Department, saying everyone had “the same Ukrainian policy that President Trump had.”
“You were on the call, was there anything that was on the call that pointed to a quid quo pro?” asked the Fox News anchor.
“The call was consistent with what I have long said in conversations with President Trump on our policy for an awfully long time,” Pompeo responded.
“Did you hear anything on that call that is not in the transcript?” asked MacCallum, referring to allegations that there were other mentions of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.
“I heard the president clearly on the call talking about making sure that corruption, whether that corruption took place in the 2016 election, whether that corruption is continuing to take place, the moneys being provided were being used appropriately,” said Pompeo. “That’s very consistent with what I understood President Trump to be doing all along.”