WATCH: Mike Pompeo Refuses To Say The Coronavirus Is Not A Hoax
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Friday intending to focus on the Trump administration's dealings with Iran and Iraq but fielding numerous questions on the coronavirus outbreak.
During the questioning, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) asked Pompeo about acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s reported comments calling the coronavirus epidemic a “hoax.”
Mulvaney said at the Conservative Political Action Conference that the crisis is merely “the hoax of the day,” and Lieu asked Pompeo whether he agreed with Mulvaney’s assessment.
The secretary responded by saying that “the State Department is doing everything it can to protect American citizens around the world from the coronavirus.”
Asked again if he believes it is a hoax, Pompeo replied that he would not comment on other officials’ remarks.
After some pressing from Lieu, who said his ask was “not even a gotcha question,” Pompeo said, “It’s a gotcha moment. It’s not useful.”