The phone call was part of a whistleblower’s complaint that alleged Trump sought “to solicit interference” from Ukraine in the upcoming 2020 election, and that the White House took steps to cover it up. Trump has denied doing anything improper.
During the news conference Wednesday, Pompeo was asked if he heard anything on the call that gave him any concerns or raised a red flag, but he dodged the question.
“The phone call was in the context of — now I guess I’ve been secretary of state for coming on a year and a half. I know precisely what the American policy is with respect to Ukraine. It’s been remarkably consistent, and we will continue to try to drive those set of outcomes,” Pompeo told reporters.
“It’s what our team, including Ambassador (Kurt) Volker, were focused on was taking down the threat that Russia poses there in Ukraine. It was about helping the Ukrainians to get graft out and corruption outside of their government and to help now this new government in the Ukraine build a successful thriving economy. It’s what the State Department officials that I’ve had the privilege to lead have been engaged in. And it’s what we will continue to do. Even while all this noise is going on.”
Pompeo was asked about the whistleblower complaint last week while in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, but he said at the time he had not yet read it in full.
“You just gave me a report about a (intelligence community) whistleblower complaint, none of which I’ve seen,” Pompeo told ABC News at the time.
The whistleblower complaint led House Democrats to launch a formal impeachment inquiry into Trump.
In Rome Wednesday, Pompeo said he objected to the demands that “deeply violate fundamental principles of separation of powers,” saying that the House Democrats had directly contacted the five officials and told them not to contact legal counsel at the State Department.
“We will, of course, do our constitutional duty to cooperate with this co-equal branch,” Pompeo said. “But we are going to do so in a way that is consistent with the fundamental values of the American system. And we won’t tolerate folks on Capitol Hill bullying, intimidating State Department employees. That’s unacceptable, and it’s not something that I’m going to permit to happen.”
This story has been updated.
CNN’s Zachary Cohen and Jamie Gangel contributed to this report.