Pompeo dodges difference between his comment and former adviser's sworn deposition

US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale delivers a statement after meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri in Beirut Lebanon

US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale delivers a statement after meeting with Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri in Beirut Lebanon

He'll say the hesitation to assist Yovanovitch stemmed from considerations among the many officers about how President Trump's private lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who had been urgent to have her eliminated, would react.

But Ms Yovanovitch said she had been told by Ukrainian officials previous year that Mr Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani was in touch with Ukraine's former top prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko "and that they had plans, and that they were going to, you know, do things, including to me". The former prosecutor-general later walked back those claims.

The State Department denied those allegations at the time, but they appear to have influenced Trump's decision to recall her. After memorandum was released, McKinley testified, he pushed Pompeo to release a statement supporting Yovanovitch multiple times.

A top State Department official arrived Wednesday to testify in the House impeachment probe and is expected to say that the agency was reluctant to defend the former ambassador to Ukraine over fears it would damage efforts to free up military aid to the country.

Michael McKinley had spent decades as a diplomat when Pompeo asked him to be a senior adviser at State Department headquarters, but McKinley resigned after almost a year in the role, and just a week before testifying in the House's impeachment inquiry.

Yovanovitch was recalled in May, but a memorandum of President Donald Trump's July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was released on September 25 - it revealed that Trump attacked the former ambassador repeatedly during the call.

McKinley said that when he had first raised the issue with Pompeo in a brief conversation he essentially got no response.

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That seemed to contradict what Pompeo told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" on October 20.

She testified that she saw an agenda set in motion that furthered the politics interests of certain individuals rather than the interests of the U.S. She also said she was shocked to learn that Trump told the president of Ukraine president during their July 25 phone call that she "was going to through some things".

"Nobody ever really said anything to me", he testified later. I was pretty direct.

A third, State Department counselor Ulrich Brechbuhl, was on a flight to Germany with Pompeo.

Pompeo never gave him a substantive response, McKinley told lawmakers in his October 16 appearance.

But then he dug in, saying McKinley said in his opening statement to the House that "he wasn't particularly involved in the Ukraine file, so it's not surprising that when Ambassador Yovanovitch returned to the United States, he didn't raise that issue with me. In May, when that took place, he didn't say a thing to me".

"You can see the media in Washington is fixated on a lot of things you and I didn't spend any time today talking about, Heiko", he said later to a question about Yovanovitch.

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