As part of Ploughshares Fund’s mission to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, we have long funded efforts to constrain and roll back nuclear programs in North Korea and Iran. This includes the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the diplomatic agreement signed by the United States, France, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Iran. This deal prevented an Iranian nuclear bomb and an Iranian war.
During a January 29, 2020 interview with traveling press, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo falsely stated that in 2015 National Public Radio (NPR) received undisclosed financial support from Ploughshares Fund. In response to similar false accusations in 2016 made by then Congressman Pompeo and others that Ploughshares Fund paid NPR for favorable coverage of the Iran deal, Ploughshares Fund released this statement:
“It is common practice for foundations to fund media coverage of under-reported stories and perspectives. For some, this might be global health, poverty or the impact of conflict on civilians. For Ploughshares Fund, this means bringing much-needed attention to the dangers of nuclear weapons. Our support of independent media such as NPR and PRI does not influence the editorial content of their coverage in any way, nor would we want it to.” Read full statement here.
Ploughshares Fund’s periodic support of NPR is a matter of public record. We are fully transparent about our grantmaking. This information is published in our annual reports and publicly available online and in print.
As NPR’s Public Editor Elizabeth Jensen reported in 2016 on Pompeo’s false allegations: “I’ll be very clear. That did not happen: NPR did not accept money to report favorably on the Iran deal.”
Pompeo’s most recent comments are another attempt to bully and intimidate honest reporters and critics. As the leading grantmaking institution in the United States dedicated exclusively to nuclear nonproliferation, we stand by our investments and we respect the journalistic integrity of NPR.