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Pompeo: State Department's Ukraine actions 'entirely appropriate'

Pompeo: State Department's Ukraine actions 'entirely appropriate'
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Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSchumer meets with Biden national security picks To promote human rights and democracy, Biden should start with China The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - GOP angst in Georgia; confirmation fight looms MORE defended Thursday the State Department’s actions related to Ukraine as “entirely appropriate” amid an impeachment inquiry into President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Trump threatens to veto defense bill over tech liability shield Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump MORE's dealings with Ukraine.

“To the best of my knowledge from what I’ve seen so far, each of the actions that were undertaken by State Department officials was entirely appropriate and consistent with the objective that we’ve had,” Pompeo told reporters in New York.

Pompeo was also asked whether the claim from Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, that the State Department had enlisted him to talk to Ukrainian officials was true. Pompeo did not directly address Giuliani’s claim in his answer.

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A whistleblower complaint released Thursday by the House Intelligence Committee alleges Trump sought to enlist Ukraine's help in the 2020 election by mounting a corruption investigation against former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenTrump alludes to possible 2024 run in White House remarks Tiger King's attorney believes they're close to getting pardon from Trump Cruz urges Supreme Court to take up Pennsylvania election challenge MORE.

That followed the White House on Wednesday releasing a partial transcript of a call between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Trump that showed Trump encouraged Zelensky to investigate allegations against Biden, who is leading Trump is several polls on the 2020 election.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPressure builds for coronavirus relief with no clear path to deal Top GOP senator warns government funding deal unlikely this week Houston will send residents checks of up to ,200 for pandemic relief MORE (D-Calif.) announced the launching of a formal impeachment inquiry on Tuesday, a position she had previously resisted.

The complaint released Thursday names several State Department officials. It says department counsel T. Ulrich Brechbuhl listened into the Trump-Zelensky call and that multiple State officials were briefed on the contents of the call.

The complaint also says Kurt Volker, the department’s special representative for Ukraine, and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, met with Zelensky a day after the call to provide advice on how to “navigate” Trump’s request.

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Pompeo said Thursday that he only read the “first couple of paragraphs” of the complaint.

But he appeared to dismiss its contents, saying that the whistleblower has “secondhand knowledge.”

Pompeo also stressed the importance of ending corruption in Ukraine, saying the United States has hoped to build a stronger relationship with Ukraine after Zelensky’s election.

“We have tried to use this opportunity to create a better relationship between the United States and Ukraine to build on the opportunities to tighten our relationship to help end corruption in Ukraine,” Pompeo said. “This is what President Zelensky ran on. We’re hopeful that we can help him execute and achieve that. It’d be a good thing for the Ukraine, it’d be a good thing for Europe, it would push back against Russia in important ways, as well, if we could achieve that objective."

“The State Department has been working tirelessly to try to achieve that objective,” he continued. “A long way to go, a lot of work yet to do, but everything I’ve seen that our team has tried to do has been aimed squarely at that foreign policy goal.”