Politics Embattled Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovich Was Advised to Tweet Praise of Donald Trump
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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo cast doubt on the testimony of the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine by suggesting that the envoy might have misread the diplomatic dialogues that sparked an impeachment inquiry. © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc.“We all, as human beings, can get it wrong,” Pompeo said Friday. “We see things through a certain prism; we address things in a certain way. We all have a responsibility to make sure we’re getting it as right as we can each and every day.
Facing a concerted campaign from Rudy Giuliani and his allies to oust her, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovich struggled in vain to get cover from U.S. diplomats, including her boss: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. At one point, according to a transcript of her Oct. 11 deposition in front of congressional impeachment investigators, she was told that sending a flattering tweet about President Donald Trump could save her job.
Before she was recalled from her post in Kyiv in May, Yovanovich was targeted by Giuliani and his associates because she was viewed as an obstacle to their efforts to get the new Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, to open an investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings and any role from Ukraine in the 2016 U.S. election. President Trump believed she was “bad news,” according to the memo of his July 25 call with Zelensky, and Giuliani and others in Trump’s orbit had been criticizing her on various platforms.
Diplomat offers details on ouster of Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch
During testimony in the impeachment inquiry, Phillip Reeker corroborated what others have said, sources said Saturday.Yovanovitch, a well-respected expert on Ukraine, has said that she was fired by the direction of President Donald Trump at the recommendation of Rudy Giuliani.
John Solomon, a much-maligned conservative columnist for The Hill,with Yuriy Vitaliyovych, the now former prosecutor general in Ukraine, said Yovanovitch had given him a “do not prosecute” list—an accusation both she and State denied. The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., sent out a tweet in March calling her a “joker.”
Alarmed and threatened by these events, Yovanovich contacted top State Department officials—in particular, Under Secretary of State David Hale—in hopes of securing their public support to ward off Giuliani and those working alongside him.
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President Trump is defending personal attorney Rudy Giuliani as concern grows that the former New York mayor’s meddling in Ukraine is lending credibility to the Democratic impeachment effort. © Provided by MediaDC: Washington Newspaper Publishing Company, Inc.“I think Rudy is a corruption fighter. I think he viewed Ukraine as a very corrupt place,” Trump said Thursday during a wide-ranging Oval Office interview with Washington Examiner reporters and editors, just hours after the House voted to formalize impeachment proceedings.
Yovanovich testified that she told Hale she wanted Pompeo to “issue a statement that said, you know, I have his full confidence or something like that, to indicate that I, in fact, am the ambassador in Ukraine, and that I speak for the President, for the Secretary of State, for our country.” She said Hale replied that he would speak with Pompeo, but no statement of support for Yovanovich ever came. The former ambassador testified that later, she heard from Philip Reeker—another top State official—that there was concern that President Trump might undermine a public statement of support for Yovanovich.
During this ordeal, Yovanovich did receive guidance from one of the president’s key point men on Ukraine, Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union. His proposal was that she tweet her support of Trump.
“He said, you know, you need to go big or go home… Tweet out there that you support the President, and that all these are lies and everything else.”
Yovanovich replied that such an approach, as a diplomat, would be inappropriate.
Trump denies knowledge of call mentioned in impeachment hearing .
President Trump on Wednesday denied knowledge of a phone call that he allegedly had with U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland in July about investigations he sought from Ukraine."First time I heard it," Trump told reporters in the East Room during a press conference with the Turkish president when asked about the call, which was described by a U.S. diplomat in public testimony earlier Wednesday.Trump also dismissed the"First time I heard it," Trump told reporters in the East Room during a press conference with the Turkish president when asked about the call, which was described by a U.S. diplomat in public testimony earlier Wednesday.