Some journalists pointed out that Mr. Pompeo appears to erupt more often at female reporters. In an interview with Deirdre Shesgreen of USA Today last year, Mr. Pompeo at one point repeated her name nine times: “No, not O.K., but. Deirdre, Deirdre, Deirdre, Deirdre, Deirdre, Deirdre, Deirdre, Deirdre, Deirdre. Not O.K., but.”
For some, Mr. Pompeo’s treatment of Ms. Kelly underlined a persistent hostility toward women. Cathryn Clüver, executive director of the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School, said, “This secretary of state is a bully and a misogynist.”
Mr. Pompeo’s statement included a puzzling reference to Bangladesh: “It is worth noting that Bangladesh is NOT Ukraine.”
The line implied, though did not specifically assert, that when Mr. Pompeo challenged Ms. Kelly to identify Ukraine, which is in Eastern Europe, on an unlabeled map, she had mistakenly pointed to Bangladesh, in South Asia. Ms. Kelly, who has a master’s in European studies from Cambridge University and has worked abroad, said Friday that she correctly identified Ukraine.
Mr. Pompeo has been widely criticized both within the State Department and outside for failing to defend veteran diplomats who testified last fall in the impeachment inquiry and who have been attacked publicly by Mr. Trump.
Last April, Mr. Pompeo played a pivotal role in Mr. Trump’s political plans involving Ukraine — at the heart of the impeachment charges — by ousting Marie L. Yovanovitch, the ambassador to Ukraine and an anticorruption advocate. After Ms. Kelly had asked whether he owed Ms. Yovanovitch an apology and whether he had tried to block Mr. Trump’s shadow Ukraine policy, Mr. Pompeo cut off the interview after nine minutes.
“I’ve defended every single person on this team,” Mr. Pompeo said.
When Mr. Pompeo objected to the Ukraine questions, Ms. Kelly said she had told an aide a day earlier that it would be a topic of discussion.