Christian Counseling Keynote Speaker Mike Pompeo Delivers Some Nasty Examples

UPDATE: (1/26) – The NYT obtained emails supporting Mark Louise Kelly’s assertion that questions about Ukraine were to be a part of the interview with Pompeo. He claimed Ukraine wasn’t on the agenda.

Mike Pompeo must be about to break the cognitive dissonance meter. He is in the thick of the Trump Ukraine scandal having to defend his boss while holding himself up as a Christian leader at the State Department. I am old enough to remember his talk at the annual conference of the American Association of Christian Counselors.After he spoke at the AACC conference, he posted video of the speech with the caption, “Being a Christian Leader.” There were mighty and many complaints about this apparent favoring of Christianity by the Secretary of State and the caption was eventually changed.
Now with the caveat that anyone can have a bad day, I bring you Mike Pompeo’s performance in an interview with NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly on Ukraine’s former ambassador Marie Yovanovich:

Christian leadership?

Obviously Pompeo was caught in an effort to save face. He hasn’t defended every state department employee if he hasn’t defended Marie Yovanovich. There is an obvious exception and he can’t even acknowledge this. That would be bad enough but then it gets worse.

According to Kelly, Pompeo then dared her to find Ukraine on a map, swearing in a belligerent manner.

If all of this took place as portrayed, Pompeo owes that reporter an apology and should answer the questions. He owes that to Yovanovich and his department at State, as well as the citizens of the nation. Trump and his administration don’t seem to have a sense that they work for us.

Today Pompeo came out with a statement defending himself. Here it is:

With this statement Pompeo suggests that a reporter agreed to have a conversation after the interview and that the conversation would be off the record. While that could be true, I am skeptical. Furthermore, it isn’t clear when the interview was over.

In any case, even if the reporter agreed to keep the conversation off the record, Pompeo is not denying it took place or any of the contents. I still can’t square this with his claim to be a Christian leader. Berating, challenging and swearing at a reporter who asked a good and relevant question is not Christian leadership. He is mad he got caught but that is on him. He projects his mistake on the entire media as a scapegoat, but I see what happened. Then he implied the reporter pointed to Bangladesh instead of Ukraine when he asked her where Ukraine is on a map. The reporter has a graduate degree in European studies, I doubt she made that big of a mistake, if she did at all.

Here is another problem with Pompeo’s remarks. He implies that U.S. Ukraine policy should depend on how many Americans care about Ukraine. This is frightening and again speaks to how politicized this administration has made our foreign policy. Ukraine is an ally that helps keep Russia from redrawing the map in eastern Europe. They are a freedom loving people who do not want to become Putin’s subjects. Mike Pompeo, I care about Ukraine and many Americans do too.

Pompeo told the AACC audience that he was working for religious freedom around the world. I don’t believe him if he doesn’t care about Ukraine. Putin doesn’t care about religious freedom. He only cares about his freedom to establish his religious machine. Religious minorities in Russia don’t have it as good. Is this what Pompeo wants for Ukraine?

Here is a link to the entire interview.

11 thoughts on “Christian Counseling Keynote Speaker Mike Pompeo Delivers Some Nasty Examples”

  1. tRump and Co. have turned this into a fight for NPR’s funding.

    Conservatives have hated NPR since the beginning. This is just another opportunity to kill an independent voice of reason, a voice they don’t control.

    And Mike Pompous projects: “It is no wonder that the American people distrust many in the media when they so consistently demonstrate their agenda and their absence of integrity.”

    Further illustration of this administration’s trouble with The Truth. See:
    The Truth About Trump’s Lies
    Trump’s attitude has had a devastating impact on Americans’ ability to discern fact from fiction.
    (Behind a paywall on my PC, but free on my phone!)

  2. There was a movie about the Vesuvius eruption called, “Last Days Of Pompeii”- hopefully, we are witnessing the “Last Days Of Pompeo” as the Secretary of State. And when January 2021 roll around- these blights upon our democracy will have to pack up and leave. I wonder what the Lance Wallnau/Jim Bakker challenge coin of Trump and Cyrus the Great will be worth after trump loses? Right now it sells for 45 dollars- and folks are encouraged to pray over it to insure the reelection of “Orange is the New Prez”.

  3. Insinuating the reporter mistook Bangladesh for Ukraine is just stupid level lying. I mean, he could have at least picked another landlocked country from the same part of the world — Belarus is probably the only one that’s remotely plausible, since it’s just to the north.

    Hugh Laurie (House) was on Graham Norton last night to promote his new show Avenue 5 where he plays a the captain of a deep space cruise ship that veers off course stranding the passengers, except he’s not really the captain — he’s just an actor employed to project confidence, and doesn’t know the first thing about how to run the ship.

    Laurie likened his role to what’s happening in the US and UK today (and elsewhere) — that it’s become more important to have leaders who project confidence rather than have competence in the job. A very astute comment.

    1. My guess is that the clowns in this administration are used to dealing with Yes People; sheeple who have learned to play dumb and kow-tow to their masters’ wishes. Or, they really may be that stupid. After all, lack of integrity and intelligence is a requirement for working for tRump and Co.

      But to try to humiliate Mary Louise Kelly? Geezuz, Mikey, you’re in over your head… She’s far smarter than you!

      Kelly was graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1993, with degrees in Government and French Literature. As a senior editor at The Harvard Crimson, she covered the 1992 Presidential election, including Bill Clinton’s inauguration. In 1995 she completed her masters in European Studies at Cambridge University (Emmanuel College) in England.

      (Oh, but she’s just a girl!)

  4. Trump has made it very clear that the only people left in his administration are those that are loyal to him personally. Not to the US or to the staff they are supposed to be managing.

    Further, Pompeo should be careful what he says about this interview, since he could be sued if he misrepresents what happened.

  5. I only hope that he didn’t actively participate in the smear campaign and the plot to investigate Bidens. These days I have very little confidence on these Christian leaders.

    1. No way he didn’t know, at the very least.

      He should be tossed out anyway. Who at State could possibly trust him to protect the country? He won’t even protect his own people.

  6. I notice that when he is being interviewed other than on Fox – he lies – like pretending he knew nothing of the phone call in question when in fact he was on it, and his reaction is always the same: hems and haws, avoiding given a direct answer. If Marie Yovanovitch was actually corrupt and that’s why she was removed, then he could say that is why he could not support her. He did neither, which shows me than he knows the smear campaign is a lie and lacks not only the courage to stand up for he but also any integrity, and then releases that juvenile letter.

    Personally, I am really sick and tired of what come across as very insincere piousness – Pence does the same thing in my opinion.

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