Nov 15, 2019

Yovanovitch says she felt threatened by mention in Trump-Zelensky call

Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch said she felt threatened by President Trump's mention of her in his July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The backdrop: In the memo summarizing the call, Trump called Yovanovitch — whom he referred as "the woman" — "bad news" and added that she would "go through some things."

  • Zelensky responded to Trump's statement: "It was great that you were the first one who told me that she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100%. Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous president and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new president well enough."

What she said about it:

  • "It was a terrible moment, a person who saw me actually reading the transcript said that the color drained from my face. I think I even had a physical reaction. I — I think, you know, even now — words kind of fail me."
  • "I can't believe it it. I mean, shocked, appalled, devastated that the president of the United States would talk about any ambassador like that to a foreign head of state, and it was me. I mean, I couldn't believe it."
  • "['Go through some things'] is not a very precise phrase, but I think — it didn't feel like I was — I really don't know how to answer the question any further except to say that it kind felt like a vague threat, and so I wondered what that meant in concern to me."

Go deeper: Live updates on Yovanovitch's impeachment hearing

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First casualty of impeachment war

Marie Yovanovitch arrives to testify yesterday. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

An important human dimension gets obscured in the wider impeachment war: Former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch is already a three-time victim of the Ukraine scandal and public hearings.

Why it matters: Maybe the only thing House Republicans and Democrats agree on is that Yovanovitch was a widely respected ambassador to Ukraine. Yet, she lost her job, endured a hit job by The Hill newspaper, and had her reputation vilified and sullied publicly by the president of the United States. 

Go deeperArrowNov 16, 2019

Trump impeachment hearing: Highlights from Marie Yovanovitch's testimony

Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, testified Friday in the House's second public impeachment hearing.

Driving the news: Trump took to Twitter as Yovanovitch testified to attack her diplomatic career, saying that everywhere she served "went bad." House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) read the tweets directly to Yovanovitch about 20 minutes after Trump posted them.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 15, 2019

Yovanovitch calls Trump's mid-impeachment hearing tweets "very intimidating"

Former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch said that a Twitter attack from President Trump in the midst of her impeachment testimony on Friday was "very intimidating."

The state of play: House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) read the tweets directly to Yovanovitch about 20 minutes after Trump posted them, adding that "some of us here take witness intimidation very seriously."

Go deeperArrowNov 15, 2019