Nov 15, 2019

Trump attacks Yovanovitch as she testifies at impeachment hearing

President Trump attacked former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch in a pair of tweets as she testified Friday in the House's impeachment inquiry.

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

The big picture: White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham told reporters earlier today that Trump "will be watching [ranking House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Devin Nunes'] opening statement, but the rest of the day he will be working hard for the American people."

  • Trump's 10:01 a.m. tweet came 35 minutes after Nunes' opening statement concluded at 9:26 a.m.

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."

  • "It's very intimidating. ... I mean, I can't speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is trying to be intimidating."

The state of play: Multiple House Democrats have said during a break in the hearing that Trump's tweets may trigger an article of impeachment, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.

  • She adds that Trump's tweet is the type of attack that Republicans told her they were hoping to avoid today.
  • Grisham issued a statement on Trump's tweet, saying, "The tweet was not witness intimidation, it was simply the president’s opinion, which he is entitled to. This is not a trial, it is a partisan political process — or to put it more accurately, a totally illegitimate, charade stacked against the president. There is less due process in this hearing than any such event in the history of our country. It’s a true disgrace."

Watch video of Yovanovitch's exchange with Schiff:

Go deeper: Live updates on Yovanovitch's impeachment hearing

Go deeper

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

Protesters gather at Hennepin County Government Plaza on Thursday in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Protests in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who died shortly after a police encounter in Minneapolis, are ongoing as the nation waits to see if the officers involved will be charged with murder.

The state of play: Minnesota's governor on Thursday activated the state's national guard following violent outbreaks throughout the week.

Updated 2 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand has a single novel coronavirus case after reporting a week of no new infections, the Ministry of Health confirmed on Friday local time.

By the numbers: Nearly 6 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and over 2.3 million have recovered from the virus. Over 357,000 people have died globally. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world with over 1.6 million.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,803,416 — Total deaths: 359,791 — Total recoveries — 2,413,576Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,720,613 — Total deaths: 101,573 — Total recoveries: 399,991 — Total tested: 15,646,041Map.
  3. Public health: The mystery of coronavirus superspreaders.
  4. Congress: Pelosi slams McConnell on stimulus delay — Sen. Tim Kaine and wife test positive for coronavirus antibodies.
  5. World: Twitter slapped a fact-check label on a pair of months-old tweets from a Chinese government spokesperson that falsely suggested that the coronavirus originated in the U.S.
  6. 2020: The RNC has issued their proposed safety guidelines for its planned convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.
  7. Axios on HBO: Science fiction writers tell us how they see the coronavirus pandemic.
  8. 🏃‍♀️Sports: Boston Marathon canceled after initial postponement, asks runners to go virtual.
  9. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  10. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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