Her treatment of NPR's Mary Louise Kelly is just the latest in a pattern that alarms supporters of the press.
Historically, the State Department has promoted the values of a free press around the world. Pompeo risks postponing.
Other reporters have experienced similar eruptions in the past.
A veteran of the raid told CNN that he was "chewed" by Pompeo in response to the State Department person's news coverage. Pompeo profanely accused the reporter of "hating Donald Trump" and following the line of the Democratic party.
Because of these fights, Pompeo has acquired a reputation for being thin-skinned and focused on pleasing President Trump.
He was disturbed during Friday's interview with NPR because Kelly asked about the scandal in Ukraine.
He repeatedly said he agreed to participate in Kelly's "All Things Considered" program to "talk about Iran", not Ukraine. Kelly said he confirmed with Pompeo's team "that I would talk about Iran and Ukraine".
After Kelly asked several other pertinent questions, a State Department aide interrupted the interview; then, after Pompeo left the room, the aide took her to the secretary's private rooms and unleashed a profaned speech. The exchange was not recorded.
"He was not happy to have been questioned about Ukraine," explained Kelly in "All Things Considered". "He asked, do you think Americans care about Ukraine? He used the F word in that sentence and many others."
Kelly, who holds a master's degree in European studies, said that Pompeo questioned his intelligence, asking if he could find Ukraine on a map.
"He called his advisers to bring him a map of the world without writing, without marked countries. I pointed to Ukraine. He kept the map," she said.
A trail of frustration
Washington DC reporters expressed shock about how Kelly was treated. But some were not surprised – as they were getting a lot in the past.
"He looks more offended – he gets angrier and more condescending – in interviews with journalists," said Graff.
He cited several examples, including Pompeo's exchange in October 2019 with Nancy Amons, a TV station interviewer in Nashville.
Pompeo accused Amons of "working at least in part for the Democratic National Committee".
"Pompeo is known for a bombastic and controversial style," said Sanger. "He can be thin-skinned. He has had a contentious relationship with several reporters, dismissing his questions."
Speaking to CNN, legal analyst Jennifer Rodgers pointed out that Democrats are pressing Pompeo to testify at the ongoing Senate impeachment trial.
Citing Pompeo's combustibility while being questioned, Rodgers said, "If they can get it on the bench, who knows what could happen."