WASHINGTON, DC – House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks and Lead Republican Michael McCaul have released the following statement on reports that Voice of America senior White House correspondent Patsy Widakuswara was demoted from her position after questioning Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about last week’s attack on the Capitol. Such a move would violate the firewall legally established by Congress between top officials at USAGM and the journalists who work there. The committee has contacted representatives from both the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) and Voice of America (VOA) with questions on this troubling news, but has received no information as to why Widakuswara was demoted.
“We were incredibly frustrated to hear the Voice of America White House senior correspondent Patsy Widakuswara was demoted from her position after questioning Secretary Pompeo about last week’s attack on the Capitol. Absent a legitimate reason for this move, which has not been provided, we believe she should be reinstated. This is the United States of America – we do not punish our journalists for seeking answers to their questions. A free and fair press is at the core of our Constitution and our democracy.”