National Public Radio host Mary Louise Kelly held her own in a contentious interview Friday with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The secretary tried his best to bluster and even threaten Kelly after she delved into sensitive issues surrounding Ukraine and President Donald Trump’s impeachment. He’s a physically intimidating, big guy and very smart, with a quick command of facts to fend off just about any challenger.
But Kelly clearly got under his skin — to the point that, in retaliation, the department banned veteran NPR diplomatic correspondent Michele Kelemen from accompanying Pompeo this week on a trip that, ironically, includes the very country he tried so strenuously to avoid discussing: Ukraine.
Good for Kelly and her aggressive journalism at a time when the Trump administration is working overtime to squirm away from accountability about issues that have culminated in Trump’s Senate impeachment trial. Top officials have good reason to avoid discussing Ukraine because their answers tend to get them into deeper trouble.