WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump attacked a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine on Friday as she testified to an impeachment hearing in the House of Representatives, saying that everywhere she went during her career “turned bad,” a charge she called “very intimidating.”
Marie Yovanovitch, a career diplomat who was removed from Ukraine by the Trump administration this year, defended her anti-corruption record in Ukraine during the hearing and said her removal had left policy there in disarray.
….They call it “serving at the pleasure of the President.” The U.S. now has a very strong and powerful foreign policy, much different than proceeding administrations. It is called, quite simply, America First! With all of that, however, I have done FAR more for Ukraine than O.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2019
As she testified, Trump tweeted out a series of attacks on Yovanovitch saying “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go?”
In a dramatic moment, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff then asked Yovanovitch for her reaction to the tweet. She said it was “very intimidating.”
"It's very intimidating." pic.twitter.com/YCPwO21dtS
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 15, 2019
“I can’t speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is to be intimidating,” she said.
The session before the House Intelligence Committee is part of the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry that threatens Trump’s presidency even as he seeks re-election in November 2020.
Yovanovitch was removed from her post as ambassador to Kiev in May after coming under attack by Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, at a time when he was working to persuade Ukraine to carry out two investigations that would benefit the Republican president politically.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle, Susan Cornwell, Richard Cowan, David Morgan and Karen Freifeld; Writing by John Whitesides; Editing by Scott Malone and Alistair Bell.)