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VOA reinstates White House reporter reassigned after questioning Pompeo

VOA reinstates White House reporter reassigned after questioning Pompeo

Voice of America has reinstated its White House reporter, who was taken off the beat after attempting to question former Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoPompeo not ruling out 2024 White House bid Houthis: US sanctions prolonging war in Yemen China plays the Trump card, but Biden is not buying it MORE.

Patsy Widakuswara’s reinstatement comes a day after President BidenJoe BidenTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot FireEye finds evidence Chinese hackers exploited Microsoft email app flaw since January Biden officials to travel to border amid influx of young migrants MORE asked for the resignation of Michael Pack, the CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media.

“Happy prof. news, I'm back to cover the WH for @voanews. My reassignment on Jan. 11 after I pushed to question Mike Pompeo on the Capitol riots has been canceled, following the change of leadership,” Widakuswara wrote on Twitter

The agency had a chaotic four years under former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' MORE, with at least 20 VOA employees filing for whistleblower protections after fighting changes at the agency.

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That pushback came to a head earlier this month when some reporters protested the live broadcast of a speech by Pompeo at the outlet’s headquarters. 

Reporters were not allowed to ask questions at the event, and many viewed the broadcast as a form of propaganda.

During the speech, Pompeo touted “American exceptionalism” and criticized VOA for a lack of positive coverage of the administration.

“It’s not fake news for you to broadcast that this is the greatest nation the world has ever known,” Pompeo said on the broadcast. 

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“I’m not saying ignore our faults. Acknowledge them. But this isn’t the Vice of America, focusing on everything that’s wrong with our great nation. It certainly isn’t the place to give authoritarian regimes in Beijing or Tehran a platform.”

After the event, Widakuswara sought to question Pompeo as he was exiting their headquarters. She was subsequently taken off the White House beat.

Pack, a conservative filmmaker, and Robert Reilly, VOA’s director, both exited the agency on Wednesday.

Pack in particular resigned “after being informed by the Biden Administration that he would be removed,” the agency said in a statement.

“I hope this ends the turmoil in our agency,” Widakuswara said on Twitter. “We are excited [to] go back to covering the news the way @VOANews always have — comprehensively, with accuracy and balance. These standards we will protect and apply, no matter who is in office.”

Reached for comment, VOA said only that they could confirm Widakuswara was back on the White House beat.