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Politics Trump defends Yovanovitch attack: 'I have freedom of speech'

22:50  15 november  2019
22:50  15 november  2019 Source:   thehill.com

Yovanovitch communicated with Dem staffer on 'delicate' issue after complaint, emails show, despite testimony

  Yovanovitch communicated with Dem staffer on 'delicate' issue after complaint, emails show, despite testimony Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, a key witness in House Democrats' impeachment inquiry, communicated via her personal email account with a Democratic congressional staffer concerning a "quite delicate" and "time-sensitive" matter -- just two days after the whistleblower complaint was filed, and a month before the complaint became public, emails obtained by Fox News showed.During Yovanovitch's deposition on Capitol Hill last month, New York Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin asked her about an email she received on Aug. 14 from the staffer, Laura Carey -- and Yovanovitch indicated under oath that she had never personally responded to it.

I have freedom of speech just like other people do," Trump told reporters at the White House after making remarks on a health care initiative, adding that Asked what effect Trump ’s tweet might have on future witnesses facing pressure from the White House not to testify, Yovanovitch described it as

President Trump defends his tweet about his former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch , amid criticism from Democratic lawmakers who called the tweet

President Trump on Friday defended his tweet earlier in the day attacking former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch in the middle of her public testimony in the House impeachment hearing, insisting he has the right to speak out.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Trump defends Yovanovitch attack: 'I have freedom of speech'© Getty Images Trump defends Yovanovitch attack: 'I have freedom of speech'

"I have the right to speak. I have freedom of speech just like other people do," Trump told reporters at the White House after making remarks on a health care initiative, adding that he's "allowed to speak up" if others are speaking about him.

Pressed whether his words can be intimidating, as Yovanovitch and Democrats have said, Trump said no.

4 takeaways from Marie Yovanovitch’s testimony

  4 takeaways from Marie Yovanovitch’s testimony All the highlights, with fact-checking and analysis.Below are some takeaways from what happened in the hearing.

Trump Confronted About Attack on Marie Yovanovitch During Hearing, Defends Tweets: ‘ I Have Freedom of Speech ’. “ I have freedom of speech just as other people do but they have taken away the Republicans rights. I watched today as certain very talented people, who wanted to ask questions

Following Trump ’s tweet, Schiff dramatically interrupted questioning from his staff counsel to read Trump ’s tweet aloud – asking Yovanovitch what effect I have freedom of speech just like other people do,” Trump told White House reporters following remarks on a health care initiative, adding

"I don't think so at all," he said.

The remarks were Trump's first public comments of the day, which has largely been dominated by testimony from Yovanovitch. As the former ambassador testified about a smear campaign by Trump's allies to oust her from her post in Kyiv, the president took aim at her on Twitter.

"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. "It is a U.S. President's absolute right to appoint ambassadors."

In a stunning moment, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) interrupted questioning from his staff counsel to read the president's tweet aloud to Yovanovitch and asked for her reaction.

Jordan Brings Pugnacious Style to Impeachment Defense of Trump

  Jordan Brings Pugnacious Style to Impeachment Defense of Trump Representative Jim Jordan, a scrappy former wrestler and firebrand founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, has always relished a fight. So it was no surprise this week when, as President Trump’s chief defender in the impeachment inquiry, he interrupted the staid tone of the first public hearing and let it rip. “And you’re their star witness?” he thundered at William B. Taylor Jr., the top diplomat in Ukraine, after prodding Mr. Taylor on Wednesday to say that he had never met the president, and that his information was secondhand. “You’re their first witness! You’re the guy?! I’ve seen church prayer chains that are easier to understand than this.

Mr. Pompeo made a brief quip referencing the impeachment inquiry at the start of his remarks, saying that he had promised to give a speech at the Baker - Yovanovitch says her ouster took personal toll - Trump attacks former envoy as she is testifying - Trump defends his tweet: ' I have freedom of

Donald Trump is alone. Not a single Republican lawmaker on the House Intelligence Committee backed up the president’s midhearing attacks on veteran diplomat Marie Yovanovitch Friday as she described a Trump -fueled “smear campaign” that effectively ended her career.

"I don't think I have such powers," Yovanovitch said with a slight laugh. "Not in Mogadishu, Somalia, not in other places."

Asked what effect Trump's tweet might have on future witnesses facing pressure from the White House not to testify, Yovanovitch described it as "very intimidating."

Democrats on the committee and elsewhere in the House equated Trump's tweet to witness intimidation and suggested that it could be considered when mulling articles of impeachment later in the process.

The White House on Friday morning issued a statement that Trump would not be watching Yovanovitch's testimony beyond opening statements. But Trump himself said that he had tuned in.

"I watched a little bit of it today. I wasn't able to yesterday because we had the president of Turkey here, and I wasn't able to watch much," Trump said. "I watched some of it this morning and I thought it was a disgrace."

Trump complained that Republicans were not given a fair shake, referencing an instance where Schiff stopped Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) from questioning Yovanovitch because the rules stipulated that only the ranking member or Republican counsel could ask questions during that period.

"It's a disgrace and it's an embarrassment to our nation," Trump said.

Yovanovitch is the third witness to testify publicly in the House impeachment inquiry. Several other current and former administration officials are scheduled to give public testimony next week.

Time and again, envoy’s Ukraine tale differs from others .
The witnesses who have testified publicly and privately in the House impeachment inquiry so far have generally told a consistent tale. Then there’s Gordon Sondland. Then there’s Gordon Sondland.

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