"I will not address the issues surrounding the democratic impeachment investigation," Pompeo told reporters at the State Department Monday, praising the diplomatic corps as a whole.
"I always defend the State Foreign Ministry staff, it is the largest diplomatic corps in the history of the world, very proud of the team," he said.
Pompeo was specifically asked for the president's tweet, "Wherever Marie Yovanovitch Got Bad," and retreated to the White House.
"I will turn to the White House for certain statements and the like, and I can not say anything about the impeachment of the Democrats," he said, adding that he would be pleased to take "a substantive issue to something that is very dear to the world ".
Pompeo suggested that Yovanovitch's sudden and premature departure from her post in Kiev was not "for a vicious purpose" She was replaced by Ambassador Bill Taylor – both admitted "on the way to a proper Ukraine policy" to have been. Pompeo had earlier supported Taylor's work in Ukraine and told the student newspaper of Wichita State University that they were "fully in agreement" in this policy.
Yovanovitch was recalled in May by the US Embassy in Ukraine following a president-sponsored targeted smear campaign by personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. During her public statement on Friday, she expressed her dismay at the State Department's silence in the face of the President's attacks.
"I remain disappointed that the department's leadership and others have refused to acknowledge that the attacks on me and others are dangerously wrong," Yovanovitch said in her opening speech. "It's about a lot more than me or a few individuals, and as the foreign service professionals are denigrated and undermined, the institution will also be demoted, which will soon do real harm if it has not already happened."
It is the responsibility of department heads to work for the institution and the people who make it the most effective diplomatic force in the world. Congress has the responsibility to invest in our diplomacy, "she said Friday.
A current State Department official told CNN Friday said that Pompeo's silence had become "an increasingly obvious deficiency and really annoying" to the public, and that they and others had gone beyond low morals to anger.