Yovanovitch says Trump tweet ‘very intimidating’

November 16, 2019

WASHINGTON: The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, branded “bad news” by President Donald Trump, defended her record and told an impeachment hearing on Friday she had pursued...

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WASHINGTON: The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, branded “bad news” by President Donald Trump, defended her record and told an impeachment hearing on Friday she had pursued anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine and did not understand why the Trump administration removed her.

“I had no agenda other than to pursue our stated foreign policy goals,” the ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, said in her opening statement on the second day of televised impeachment hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I still find it difficult to comprehend that foreign and private interests were able to undermine U.S. interests in this way,” she told lawmakers.

Marie Yovanovitch, the ousted US ambassador to Ukraine, said Friday that a tweet by President Donald Trump attacking her while she testified before the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry was “very intimidating.” Trump attacked Yovanovitch as she was testifying in the House Intelligence Committee about her abrupt recall from Ukraine following what she called a “smear campaign” by Rudy Giuliani, Trump´s personal attorney, and corrupt Ukrainians. 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.

Giuliani was trying to engineer Ukrainian investigations of Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden and the former U.S. vice president’s son Hunter, who had served as a board member for Ukrainian energy company Burisma, as well as a debunked conspiracy theory embraced by some Trump allies that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. “I do not understand Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me, nor can I offer an opinion on whether he believed the allegations he spread about me,” Yovanovitch told the hearing.



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