Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed on Friday he was not aware that former US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch may have been surveilled while serving in Kiev.
“Until this story broke, I had, to the best of my recollection, had never heard of this at all,” Pompeo told Hugh Hewitt.
Texts released earlier this week by House Democrats that were turned over to them by indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas show Connecticut Republican congressional candidate Robert Hyde berating Yovanovitch and suggest he was monitoring her while she was in Kiev and relaying her movements to Parnas. Hyde declined to comment to CNN when asked if he had surveilled Yovanovitch, who served as a key witness in the House impeachment probe into President Donald Trump.
The State Department had not publicly commented on any developments for more than 48 hours since the new tranche of documents were revealed.
The slow response is even more striking following a Thursday morning announcement that Ukrainian authorities have launched a criminal probe into that potential surveillance — before any such announcement from the US government.
Pompeo did not offer any words of support for the former ambassador to Ukraine and did not make mention of investigating the possible surveillance. He also said that he has never met Parnas.
Asked if the impeachment hurts American interests abroad, the top US diplomat said his team is “very focused” and again referred to the matter as “noise.”
“I’ve done my best to make sure that everybody here knows that we’ve got a mission that’s ongoing, and to make sure that we tell our partners and friends around the world that, too,” he told Hewitt. “We do our best to make sure that everyone’s focused on the things that really matter.”