Trump attacked Marie Yovanovitch as she testified about learning she was fired while honoring an assassinated corruption activist
- Yovanovitch, a veteran diplomat who worked in the US Foreign Service for over three decades, served as the US ambassador to Ukraine from 2016 to May of 2019 until she says she was pushed out by Trump.
- "Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him," Trump tweeted.
- Yovanovitch said she was "shocked and devastated" to learn that Trump complained about her and said she was going to "go through some things" in a July phone call with Ukraine's president.
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Yovanovitch, a veteran diplomat who worked in the US Foreign Service for over three decades, served as the US ambassador to Ukraine from 2016 to May of 2019.The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump pushed her out of the administration when people close to him - particularly Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani - lamented that she displayed an "anti-Trump bias" and got in the way of his efforts to persuade the Ukrainian government to open the investigations Trump wanted them to pursue. Her formal service as ambassador to Ukraine ended in late May.
In her Friday testimony before the three House Committees, Yovanovitch, a career diplomat, testified she learned that the president has "lost confidence" in her and that she would be recalled while she was at a ceremony giving an award to the father of an anti-corruption activist who had been assassinated in an acid attack.
In her opening statement, Yovanovitch said she was first assigned to a tour in Somalia at the beginning of her career in the US foreign service.
Trump attacks Yovanovitch during her testimony
"Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him. It is a U.S. President's absolute right to appoint ambassadors," Trump tweeted during Yovanovitch's testimony.
In the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the notes of which were released in September, Trump complained about Yovanovitch and said she was "going to go through some things."
"I was shocked and devastated that I would feature in a phone call between two heads of state in such a manner where President Trump said that I was bad news to another world leader, and that I would be going through some things ... it was a terrible moment," Yovanovitch testified, adding that she felt threatened.
At the hearing, the House Democrats' counsel Daniel Goldman read Trump's tweet out loud to Yovanovitch and gave her a chance to respond to Trump's allegations that she was ineffective.
"I don't think I have such powers, not in Somalia not in other places. I think where I served over the years, I and others have made things better both for the US and the countries we've served in," Yovanovitch said in response to Trump's tweet.
Now, Yovanovitch is a key witness in the House's impeachment inquiry.
In early September, an anonymous whistleblower complaint lodged by a member of the intelligence community said that in a series of events culminating in a July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump used "the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election."
The complaint detailed concerns that Trump, days after withholding a nearly $400 million military-aid package, used the call with Zelensky to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Hunter Biden served on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian oil-and-gas company, from 2014 to 2019. Trump and his allies have, without evidence, accused Biden of using his power as vice president to urge Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who was investigating Burisma in order to protect Hunter.
The whistleblower's complaint has been corroborated by the White House's summary notes of the July 25 call, White House officials themselves, and the sworn testimony of several career diplomatic and national-security officials.Multiple diplomats have now testified under oath that the Trump administration explicitly conditioned lifting the hold of the military aid to Ukraine on Zelensky publicly announcing investigations into Burisma and a discredited conspiracy theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election to benefit Hillary Clinton.
Yovanovitch says she was "shocked" and "devastated" to read about Trump characterizing her as "bad news" during his fateful July phone call with Zelensky.- Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 15, 2019
"The color drained from my face. I think I even had a physical reaction. I think, even now, words fail me." pic.twitter.com/UzlX7846Zi