- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 25, 2020

National Public Radio stood up Saturday for Mary Louise Kelly, an NPR reporter scolded in a blistering statement issued hours earlier by Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo.

Nancy Barnes, NPR’s senior vice president for news, issued a statement after Mr. Pompeo lashed out at Ms. Kelly for reporting details of a recent conversation they had.

Mary Louise Kelly has always conducted herself with the utmost integrity, and we stand behind this report,” said Ms. Barnes.

SEE ALSO: Pompeo defends himself against NPR reporter’s claim he yelled at her

Ms. Kelly, a co-host of NPR’s “All Things Considered,” reported Friday that an interview she conducted earlier in the day with Mr. Pompeo quickly turned sour upon the secretary of state being questioned about Ukraine and related topics at the center of the ongoing impeachment trial underway in the Senate against President Trump.

Discussing the interaction on NPR, Ms. Kelly said that a State Department aide invited her to Mr. Pompeo’s private living room at the agency’s headquarters afterward, where she said the nation’s top diplomat yelled at her for several minutes, repeatedly used the F-word and asked her to identify Ukraine on a map.

“Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?” asked Mr. Pompeo, according to NPR. “People will hear about this.”

Mr. Pompeo subsequently issued a statement Saturday morning slamming Ms. Kelly for reporting details about what he considered to be an off-the-record conversation.

“It is shameful that this reporter chose to violate the basic rules of journalism and decency. This is another example of how unhinged the media has become in its quest to hurt President Trump and this Administration,” Mr. Pompeo said in the statement. “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.”

NPR reported that the State Department aide who brought Ms. Kelly into Mr. Pompeo’s private living room following their interview did not say the ensuing conversation would be off-the-record.

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