State Department Official Testifies Mike Pompeo Called Sean Hannity About Ukraine

Sean Hannity-Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of Subject

"I understood that he did call Sean Hannity," Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale said of the Secretary of State. The Fox News host denies the call.

Sean Hannity's name has turned up in another transcript of comments made to House investigators as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry.

On Monday night, the House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released the sworn testimony of Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale.

Hale testified about a call that was purportedly made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Hannity regarding his commentary about Ukraine and former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

"I understood that he did call Sean Hannity," Hale said of Pompeo. "You understood the secretary called Sean Hannity?" the investigator asked. "Yes."

When asked what Pompeo conveyed to Hannity, Hale said, "What the secretary had consistently been saying, which is: If there are these allegations, I need to see what the evidence is."

The prospect of Pompeo calling Hannity to push back on his coverage of Ukraine was first raised in Yovanovitch's sworn testimony.

Earlier this month, Hannity denied being called by anyone at the State Department.

On his Fox News show on Monday night, he addressed his appearance in Hale's deposition transcript. "How many times do I have to say: We barely mentioned this woman," Hannity said of Yovanovitch. "Four times in passing. No, I never got a call from Secretary Pompeo or anything else."

He asked, "Why would they lie about this? I know nothing about this woman. Now I do."

When asked by impeachment investigators about the conclusion of Pompeo's alleged call with Hannity, Hale said: "I believe that the secretary's takeaway from the conversation was that there was no evidence that was credible about — to support these allegations. It's what I deduced, really, from hearing from the secretary after the call that the secretary believed that there wasn't any evidence to back up these allegations."

As Hannity has argued, the Fox News host has rarely mentioned the then-ambassador on his primetime show. But on his March 20 show, he agreed when guest Joe diGenova said that the U.S. should recall Yovanovitch from Ukraine because of comments she allegedly made about the president. "Oh, immediately," Hannity responded. "Immediately."

Hannity's colleague, host Laura Ingraham, more directly criticized Yovanovitch on her show two days later, calling her a "bad actor."