“Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?” an angry Pompeo asked Mary Louise Kelly, host of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” she recounted. Kelly said Pompeo was furious that she questioned him about Ukraine on the program Friday, and he took her aside after the interview to launch a profanity-laced tirade against her.
He has not contradicted her report of the confrontation. Pompeo has only insisted it was “off the record,” which NPR has denied.
Taylor called out Pompeo for his misguided attitude about Ukraine in an op-ed in The New York Times. “The relationship between the United States and Ukraine is key to our national security. Americans should care about Ukraine,” Taylor wrote. The country remains vital to America regardless of the outcome of the ongoing impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
Ukraine is “defending itself — and the West — against Russian attack” along its border, he added. “Until Russia recommits to a rules-based international order, Western nations are in jeopardy.”
The battle has come at a heavy cost to Ukraine. Since the Russians invaded six years ago, 14,000 Ukrainians have died in this war, Taylor noted.
Russian President Vladimir Putin “seems to want to return to the law of the jungle ... where powerful nations dominated and invaded less powerful nations, where nations established spheres of influence that oppressed neighbors, leading to war and suffering,” Taylor concluded.
“In the contest between democracies and autocracies, the contest between freedom and unfreedom, Ukraine is the front line.”
Pompeo is scheduled to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv later this week.
Despite what Pompeo reportedly told Kelly, he told Bloomberg just last week that Ukraine is an important nation that “sits at the edge of democracy and tyranny.”
He also denied in the interview, seen in the video below, that there was any “shadow” Ukrainian foreign policy being carried out by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani — which appeared to be contradicted Sunday in a circulated book manuscript by former national security adviser John Bolton.
Read Taylor’s entire op-ed here.