On Tuesday morning, President Trump held a press conference at the White House to announce his tremendous plan to finally solve the Palestinian-Israeli crisis after decades of conflict and strife.
But his inevitably doomed-to-fail and laughably Israeli-tilted proposal was overshadowed by his callous decision to praise his Secretary of State for blowing up and cursing at a reporter after she challenged him about Ukraine and his role in the quid pro quo scandal that triggered the impeachment inquiry.
Last Friday, NPR reported that All Things Considered co-host Mary Louise Kelly interviewed the Secretary of State and asked him whether or not he owed the recalled Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovich, an apology for allowing her to be steamrolled out of her position by Rudy Giuliani’s goons and media lapdogs.
After the subject of Ukraine was brought up, the interview formally ended — but the reporter was then brought into Pompeo’s private living area, where he blew his top in an extremely Trumpian fit of rage.
NPR reports that “inside the room, Pompeo shouted his displeasure at being questioned about Ukraine. He used repeated expletives, according to Kelly, and asked,’Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?’ He then said, ‘People will hear about this.’”
.@SecPompeo cursed out reporter @NPRKelly for asking him about Ukraine and then demanded she find it on a map, which she did. “He asked, 'Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?' He used the F word…” https://t.co/km285zyWlS
— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) January 25, 2020
The incident was a highly embarrassing and utterly despicable show of bravado designed to intimidate and silence a journalist for trying to hold a senior government official accountable for the actions of his department — so of course, it had to have been music to the would-be despot Donald Trump’s ears.
He nearly said as much in his press conference today, telling Pompeo that he had done a “good job” by screaming “f*ck” at a reporter and generally behaving like a blustering fool.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) January 28, 2020
The president’s comments mark yet another disturbing attack on the First Amendment and the freedoms of the press that our nation holds dear and offers an illuminating glimpse into how his appointees are altering their behavior to tickle Trump’s authoritarian impulses and stay in his good graces. Everyone in the White House behaves like him now; arrogant and self-entitled little princelings who strut about utterly convinced that they are above the law, growing furiously angry at the very idea of being challenged by anyone on what they’ve said or done.
For Trump to praise this behavior with the entire world watching is yet another black mark on a presidency that cannot end soon enough.
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Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.