Mike Pompeo: I Don’t Know Lev Parnas, ‘Never Heard’ About Surveilling Yovanovitch

(INSET: Ukraine's Lev Parnas) US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Organization of American States during a gathering of the representatives in Washington, DC on January 17, 2020. (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS / AFP) (Photo by ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images)
Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty, Stephanie Keith/Getty

Appearing Friday on Hugh Hewitt’s nationally syndicated radio show, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denied ever meeting indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas and said he had no previous knowledge of allegations of efforts to monitor former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

A partial transcript is as follows: 

HUGH HEWITT: I want to talk China and Iran, but first, a couple of questions from the headlines. Do you know Lev Parnas?

SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO: Never met him.

HEWITT: All right. Until this story broke, were you aware that Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was being surveilled while serving as an ambassador?

SECRETARY OF STATE POMPEO: Yeah, never heard about this at all, Hugh.

HEWITT: Okay.

SECRETARY OF STATE POMPEO: Until this story broke, I had, to the best of my recollection, had never heard of this at all.

HEWITT: And now onto the impeachment very quickly. Does this impeachment, which I believe to be an ultra-partisan charade, does it hurt America abroad from your position at the top of the State Department?

SECRETARY OF STATE POMPEO: The team, Hugh, is very focused. 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. We’re still very focused on the things that President Trump set out in his agenda, and that this activity, this noise here in Washington is to be compartmented and kept out of the way of important things that truly keep Americans safe. And that’s all we’ve tried to do. It comes up from time to time. We do our best to make sure that everyone’s focused on the things that really matter.

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