'He said-she said': Meghan McCain defends Mike Pompeo after he called an NPR journalist 'unhinged'
- "The View" host Meghan McCain spoke out in support of Mike Pompeo, who made headlines for berating NPR host Mary Louise Kelly.
- The Secretary of State has denied calling Kelly "unhinged" and accusing her of lying in private after the interview, McCain said, dismissing the melee as a "he said-she said."
- She also pointed fingers at Kelly, accusing her of bias and saying it's her fault Pompeo got mad at her.
- The other co-hosts of ABC's morning talk show disagreed vehemently.
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Meghan McCain on Monday blamed NPR's Mary Louise Kelly for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's outburst where he accused her of "lying" and deemed her "unhinged."
Her comments, on ABC's "The View," prompted her co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar to jump into the conversation and begin speaking over her.
"I think journalists are supposed to be unbiased in their questioning and if you already have an opinion that he's a piece of crap-" McCain began saying before her fellow hosts interrupted.
The controversy began this weekend when NPR reported that Pompeo berated Kelly in a meeting following an on-air interview. Kelly asked Pompeo questions about the United States' support for Ukraine as well as the removal of former US ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
The interview ended when he began yelling at her, Kelly recalled, adding: "He asked, 'Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?' He used the F-word in that sentence and many others."
An audio clip of Pompeo's interview with the "All Things Considered" host kicked off the segment. Goldberg said Kelly "didn't sound unhinged," and criticized Pompeo's statement suggesting that Kelly misidentified Bangladesh as Ukraine on a map.
"Pompeo said she's another example of the 'unhinged' news media," Goldberg said. "Did she sound unhinged? She didn't sound unhinged."
Sunny Hostin, another host on ABC's morning talk show, labeled Pompeo the "chief of petty for berating a woman, a journalist, in that way."
Behar decried what she described as Pompeo's "short fuse," and added the current White House administration is "loaded with bullies and resembles an "organized crime organization."
'I don't think he sounded that angry'
McCain was in the minority when she sprung to Pompeo's defense. She referenced actor Adam Driver, who walked out of an NPR interview with Terry Gross after refusing to listen to an audio clip from his Netflix movie, "Marriage Story."
"There's a weird pattern right now of people walking out of NPR interviews," she said. "Remember we talked on the show, Adam Driver did it because something he asked not to be on NPR played was played. This is now the second notable person that's walking out of NPR, so I don't know what's going on over at NPR."
She continued: "I will say if you go into an interview and you're someone like Mike Pompeo and you say, 'I want to talk about this, I don't want to talk about this,' and you agree ahead of time and that journalist breaks the agreement, I can understand how you would get frustrated. I didn't think he sounded that angry, either."
Behar raised the issue of Pompeo's eruption occurring in private.
"Apparently they went to another room and got into a fight, which is ridiculous, as well," McCain said. "But I will say the breakdown between the trust between the media and the White House right now, I think, is because of this, because you have journalists reporting off-the-record information all the time."
This time, Goldberg jumped in and said, "Well, we don't know that's what this is, because she apparently has all of the texts between them."
McCain ignored that evidence.
"He has denied [it]," she said. "I think it's a he said-she said."
Behar said Pompeo should expect to answer tough questions from journalists because he and other officials can't be "held accountable" otherwise.
"You finally have one of the players in your sight and you have to ask him the question that he doesn't want to answer - that's what journalists do," she said.
POMPEO ACCUSES NPR REPORTER OF LYING: The Secretary of State attacked a NPR reporter in a blistering statement after the network said Pompeo admonished her using expletives, called her a liar and demanded she find Ukraine on a map - the co-hosts react. https://t.co/Y5MweS5PEJ pic.twitter.com/z7scZmDdIu- The View (@TheView) January 27, 2020