Pompeo defends Ukraine corruption push as impeachment roils

  • In US
  • 2019-10-05 13:20:20Z
  • By Associated Press
Pompeo defends Ukraine corruption push as impeachment roils
Pompeo defends Ukraine corruption push as impeachment roils  

ATHENS, Greece (AP) U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday defended the Trump administration's approach to Ukraine that is at the center of an impeachment inquiry . He rejected allegations it was at best inappropriate or at worst an illegal abuse of power for which Congress should remove President Donald Trump from office.

Pompeo, speaking to reporters after meeting with Greek officials, maintained that the investigation the United States sought from Ukraine's government involved possible interference from Ukraine in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He did not address Trump's stated desire for Ukraine to specifically investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, which impeachment investigators are focused on since a whistleblower complaint surfaced last month.

Pompeo criticized the impeachment inquiry as "clearly political" and said the actions of the State Department were aimed solely at improving relations with the new government of Ukraine that took office this spring. He also said the work of a former special envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker, was based on the direction of the president to do just that.

Volker was interviewed by congressional investigators on Thursday and turned over text messages between himself and other officials. Those messages detailed their push to get Ukraine to agree to investigations into an energy company on whose board Hunter Biden sat, and 2016 election interference. In exchange, American officials dangled the offer of a meeting with Trump in Washington for Ukraine's new president.

"The State Department was very focused, at the direction of the president, on creating space where we could ultimately deliver a good relationship with this government," Pompeo said. "Ambassador Volker worked diligently to create that opportunity."

Robert Mueller, the special counsel who investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election, has warned about the dangers of Moscow's intrusions in the American political system.

Pompeo said the administration had an obligation to investigate alleged election interference and ask foreign governments for assistance if needed.

"The administration was incredibly focused on making sure that we worked with Ukraine in a way that was appropriate. It is not only appropriate, it is our duty if we think there was interference in the election of 2016," he said. "I think everyone recognizes that governments have an obligation, indeed a duty, to ensure that elections happen with integrity, without interference."

In Trump's July telephone call with Ukraine's president, Trump referred to a discredited conspiracy theory that tries to cast doubt on Russia's role in the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee and alleges that Ukraine had spread disinformation during the U.S. election.

Separately, on impeachment, Pompeo said the State Department had responded to a congressional subpoena for him to produce Ukraine-related documents. He did not say what that response was.

He had faced a Friday deadline to hand over the documents, but he suggested that he had not and would instead move to comply with the subpoena at his own pace.

"We'll work through that process," said Pompeo, a former congressman. "I remember precisely once when I was on that side and we were looking for documents, I remember precisely how long it took for those documents to come across. ... We're going to be more responsive than the Obama administration was in the years that preceded this particular Congress."

Pompeo was in the Greek capital on the last leg of a four-nation European tour that has been overshadowed by the impeachment inquiry in Washington.


More Related News

Donald Trump calls for public identification of Ukraine whistleblower
Donald Trump calls for public identification of Ukraine whistleblower

Railing against impeachment, President Trump called for the identification of the whistleblower who accused him of improperly pressuring Ukraine.

Trump accidentally refers to Defense Secretary Esper as
Trump accidentally refers to Defense Secretary Esper as 'Mark Esperanto' in tweet defending Syria withdrawal

President Trump quoted "Mark Esperanto, Secretary of Defense" on Sunday. But the man in charge of the Pentagon is named Mark Esper, not Esperanto.

Trump drops plan to host G-7 at Doral
Trump drops plan to host G-7 at Doral

President Donald Trump on Saturday abruptly reversed his plan to hold the next Group of Seven world leaders' meeting at his Doral, Florida, golf resort next year. Accused of using the presidency to enrich himself by hosting the international summit at a private resort owned by his family, Trump announced a rare backtrack Saturday night. "Based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility, we will no longer consider Trump National Doral, Miami, as the Host Site for the G-7 in 2020," Trump tweeted.

'We're going to have him for another four years.' Impeachment fight riles up Donald Trump supporters for 2020

Rather than hunkering down in Washington, Donald Trump is using the impeachment fight to rile up supporters in cities like Minneapolis and Dallas.

Gabbard responds to Clinton: "She knows she can
Gabbard responds to Clinton: "She knows she can't control me"

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard responded angrily to Hillary Clinton's implication that Russians are 'grooming' her for a third party 2020 run.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: US

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.