Pompeo to reporter in Kansas: 'The whole predicate of your question is insane'

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoPompeo under pressure over threats to Yovanovitch Regardless of how the Iraqis feel, the US should leave Democrats clash at debate over keeping US troops in Mideast MORE told a reporter for a Kansas newspaper that his question was "insane" after the journalist asked if President TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE's recent decision to move troops out of northern Syria undermined U.S. credibility. 

Pompeo, a former GOP congressman from Kansas's 4th District, was asked by a Wichita Eagle reporter, "What good really is the word of the U.S. in light of the president’s treatment of the Kurds? Has that undercut U.S. credibility?"

"The whole predicate of your question is insane," Pompeo responded.

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"The word of the United States is much more respected today than it was just two and a half years ago," the top U.S. diplomat added. "The previous administration in Syria, where you asked the question earlier, the previous administration said, ‘Boy, if you use chemical weapons that’s going to be bad,’ and the president drew a red line, President Obama drew a red line. He then duly ignored it."

The Trump administration has faced bipartisan criticism over its recent decision to move the troops, which was immediately followed by a Turkish military offensive against Kurdish fighters in the region. Turkish and Syrian Kurdish forces have since reached a cease-fire. 

Pompeo also discussed Syria at other points in the wide-ranging interview, saying Trump was "very unhappy" that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had conducted the Syria operation. 

"We wanted to stop that incursion to save lives. We did that. We set up a five-day pause so that we could extract SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces] fighters safely, they wouldn’t be killed as they moved back," he said. 

Multiple Democratic lawmakers and presidential candidates, including South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegFormer insurance executive: 'Medicare for all' would eliminate jobs that are 'not needed' Buttigieg says he's proud to be a part of US system amid UK royal family drama Buttigieg asked about 'Mayo Pete' memes by New York Times ed board MORE, a military veteran, have said that Trump has hurt U.S. credibility abroad by abandoning a key military ally.

"The credibility of the United States is something that our lives depend on. And when the president undermines it with things like the action in Syria, that is going to cost us for years and years," Buttigieg said during an NBC interview that aired Sunday. "We've got to be a country known to keep its word."

Pompeo earlier this month also told two reporters that it seemed like they were working for the Democratic National Committee after they asked him questions relating to Ukraine.