Transcript for Mike Pompeo dodges questions about call with Ukraine
There are also major developments in the impeachment inquiry. We learned cede that secretary of state Mike Pompeo was also on that phone call with president trump and the president of Ukraine. The secretary of state Pompeo said he did not know much about the whistle-blower's complaint about that call in an interview with our Martha Raddatz just days before it was made public. Tonight, the secretary of state himself now drawn into this investigation, and trying to block colleagues from the state department from testifying. Democrats warn, that would be and here's ABC's chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl. Reporter: Secretary of state Mike Pompeo, traveling in Italy, dodged questions today about whether he was on the call that triggered an impeachment inquiry. Mr. Secretary, do you have any comment on reports you're on the July 25th call with president zelensky? Reporter: In that call, president trump asked president zelensky of Ukraine to, quote, "Do us a favor" and investigate a debunked conspiracy theory about Democrats. He also asked zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and his son, hunter. At the time, the U.S. Was withholding nearly $400 million in military aid to Ukraine. The call was the focus of the whistle-blower complaint alleging abuse of power by the president. But just a week ago, in an interview with ABC news, secretary Pompeo was evasive when asked about the call. What do you know about those conversations? So, you just gave me a report about a whistle-blower complaint, none of which I've seen. Reporter: Four days later, when the whistle-blower complaint was made public, Pompeo suggested he was still in the dark. I haven't had a chance to actually read the whistle-blower complaint yet. Reporter: But ABC news has confirmed Pompeo was, in fact, listening in on the president's call with Ukraine. That call was only part of the whistle-blower's complaint. He also alleges the president's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was engaging in talks with Ukrainian officials and that state department officials were trying to, quote, contain the damage to national security. House Democrats have demanded to question five current and former state department officials this week. But today, Pompeo rebuffed the request, at least for now, calling it "An attempt to intimidate, bully and treat improperly the distinguished professionals of the department of state." Democrats say that amounts to obstruction, calling on the secretary of state to "Immediately cease intimidating department witnesses in order to protect himself and the president." To the best of my knowledge and from what I've seen so far, each of the actions that were undertaken by state department officials was entirely appropriate. Reporter: Tonight, many questions remain unanswered. Giuliani has insisted everything he did was at the behest of Mike Pompeo's state department. I have uncovered corruption that this Washington swamp has been covering up, effectively, for years. And his state department, you know, asked me to do this. Reporter: House Democrats say they will also likely want Giuliani to testify. Will he agree to do it? Oh, didn't know. I'm weighing the alternatives. I'm -- I'll kind of, like, go through it. I'll get all my evidence together, I'll get my charts. I don't know if they'll let me use video tapes and tape recordings that I have. Jon Karl live at the white house tonight. We do know tonight that Rudy Giuliani has hired an attorney of his own. And Mike Pompeo trying to block house Democrats from speaking with current and former state department officials, but tonight, you're now learning one of those officials has decided he will sit down with lawmakers this week? Reporter: One of them a former official, his name is Kurt Volker. He was the state department's envoy to Ukraine. He is an ambassador. He resigned last week, shortly after the whistle-blower complaint was made public. And David, tonight, we are learning of a new development, ABC news has learned that the state department's internal watchdog will be on capitol hill tomorrow giving what has been described by sources an urgent briefing relate told the Ukraine matter to house and senate staff on capitol hill. Several fast-moving developments. You'll follow it again for us tomorrow, Jon.
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