Trump Blames Yovanovitch For Bad Outcomes In Nations She’s Worked — ‘I Don’t Think I Have Such Powers,’ She Responds
On a Friday morning tweet, just before former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was set to testify before the House impeachment hearings, President Donald Trump suggested that she was responsible for the bad outcomes that happened in nations she worked in.
Yovanovitch, who has worked in Somalia, Uzbekistan, Russia, and Ukraine, was fired as ambassador for the last nation listed earlier this year, due reportedly to influence from forces like Rudy Giuliani telling the president she was privately bad-mouthing him, the Washington Post reported.
“Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad,” Trump said in his tweet. “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.”
In testimony on Friday, Yovanovitch said that Trump’s comments to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky were alarming to her, recalling that Trump said they were “going to go through some things” with regard to the administration’s present delegation to Kyiv.
“I was very concerned…It sounded like a threat,” Yovanovitch said.
"What did you think when Pres. Trump told Pres. Zelenskiy, and you read, that were 'going to go through some things?'"
Yovanovitch: "I was very concerned…It sounded like a threat."
"Did you feel threatened?"
— ABC News (@ABC) November 15, 2019
Yovanovitch was also asked to respond to Trump’s comments from earlier on Friday. When queried over her response to Trump saying countries did poorly after she visited them, Yovanovitch was stumped.
“I don’t think I have such powers…I actually think where I served, I and others have demonstratively made things better,” she added.
Yovanovitch also described the tweet from Trump from earlier in the day as “intimidating.”
“I can’t speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is to be intimidating” to other witnesses thinking about coming forward, the former ambassador said.
"It's very intimidating." pic.twitter.com/YCPwO21dtS
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 15, 2019
Yovanovitch has worked for Democratic and Republican presidents, serving more than three decades in the State Department.