Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak during a joint statement in the East Room of the White House on January 28, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

'You Did a Good Job on Her': White House Audience Laughs as Trump Praises Pompeo for Bullying NPR Reporter

"That was very impressive, Mike," the president said to applause during a press conference in the White House.

Jake Johnson

President Donald Trump on Tuesday praised Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for bullying and berating NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly, who last week infuriated Pompeo by asking him basic questions about Ukraine and the ongoing impeachment trial.

"That reporter couldn't have done too good a job on you," Trump said during a press conference in the White House held with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "Think you did a good job on her, actually."

Pompeo smiled and laughed along with the audience as Trump rambled on about rumors that the secretary of state is planning a Senate run.

"They all want him to," the president said. "Kansas, great state."

Trump's remarks, and the laughter they provoked, were met with disgust.

"Congrats to all of those in the audience laughing along to attacks on the free press," tweeted Georgetown professor Don Moynihan.

Watch Trump's comments:

As Common Dreams reported on Saturday, Kelly said Pompeo lashed out at her with an expletive-filled rant following an interview Friday in which she asked the secretary of state about Ukraine and other topics.

"Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?" Pompeo asked, according to Kelly.

Pompeo claimed in a statement Saturday that Kelly agreed beforehand that the interview would not include questions about Ukraine. The secretary of state also said Kelly agreed to keep the post-interview conversation off the record.

Kelly denied agreeing to such preconditions, and emails obtained by the Washington Post Sunday showed Kelly confirmed with Pompeo's press aide that the interview would include questions on Ukraine.

The State Department on Monday escalated the fight with NPR by barring reporter Michele Kelemen from traveling with Pompeo on an upcoming trip to Eastern Europe.

In a statement late Monday, the State Department Correspondents' Association criticized the decision to bar Kelemen.

"Michele is a consummate professional who has covered the State Department for nearly two decades," the association said. "We respectfully ask the State Department to reconsider and allow Michele to travel on the plane for this trip."

In a tweet on Monday night, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) warned that "when Trump administration officials are allowed to bar press simply for doing their job... we are entering the chilling realm of an autocracy."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Senate Dems Propose Talking Filibuster for Voting Rights

"If Senate Democrats can find the political courage this moment requires, they have the tools right now to pass voting rights legislation and save our democracy."

Jessica Corbett ·


94% of AZ Progressives Support Primary Challenge if Sinema Kills Voting Rights

"Sinema can betray Arizonans, but there aren't enough pharma lobbyists in the world to keep her in office if she does."

Brett Wilkins ·


Dems Urged to Hold Senate Floor for 'As Long As It Takes'

"Call your senators now and tell them to hold the floor, keep the debate going, and fix or ditch the filibuster to pass democracy reform," says Indivisible.

Jessica Corbett ·


Exxon Net-Zero Plan Called Greenwashing From 'Climate Liar'

"Exxon and Big Oil's whole strategy is to pretend that fossil fuels can be part of the solution so that they can delay the adoption of renewables another year and keep profiting from oil and gas."

Julia Conley ·


Rising US Renewables Expected to Spur Decline in Fracked Gas

"Renewable energy is starting to do to natural gas what natural gas did to coal."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo