Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch gave public testimony Friday regarding the circumstances of her abrupt ouster from her post as part of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.
Catch up quickly:
5 things we learned from Yovanovitch's public testimony
- Including stirring testimony, a GOP strategy and how Russia benefited ...
Trump defends attacking Yovanovitch after Dems accuse him of 'witness intimidation'
- “I have the right to speak. I have the freedom of speech just as other people do,” Trump told reporters.
Analysis: The devastating day Trump's presidency came into sharp focus
- Also: A fate worse than firing — humiliation. "All we have is our reputations," Yovanovitch said.
Yovanovitch says Trump admin kneecapped her diplomatic efforts
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Schiff says Trump is intimidating Yovanovitch 'in real time'
During the break, Schiff accused Trump of intimidating Yovanovitch "in real time," and the impeachment investigators will take that "very seriously."
"What we saw today is, it wasn’t enough that Ambassador Yovanovitch was smeared, it wasn’t enough that she was attacked, it wasn’t enough that she was recalled for no reason, at least no good reason," Schiff told reporters. "But we saw today, witness intimidation in real time by the President of the United States, once again going after this dedicated and respected career public servant in an effort to not only chill her, but to chill others who may come forward. We take this kind of witness intimidation and obstruction of inquiry very seriously."
ANALYSIS: Trump attacks on Yovanovitch show 'profound lack of understanding'
Trump campaign spokesman tweets 'what's relevant'
Trending: Miss Universe
Today’s hearing is all over Twitter, accounting for many of the major trending topics.
Among them, Miss Universe. The president referred to the pageant in his first call with Zelenskiy, a transcript of which was released Friday morning.
Hearing breaks for votes
Lawmakers are taking a brief break from Yovanovitch's testimony in order to attend floor votes, Schiff said.
Kent previously testified that Putin, Orban poisoned Trump's views on Ukraine
George Kent, a senior State Department official responsible for Europe, told Congress last month that he was briefed on conversations President Donald Trump had with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in which the two foreign leaders talked Trump into a negative view about Ukraine and its new leader, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Kent told House investigators that Putin and Orban, along with Trump personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, had “shaped the president’s view of Ukraine and Zelenskiy.” He said Trump’s conversations with the two leaders accounted for the change in Trump’s view of Zelenskiy from “very positive” after their first call on April 21 to “negative” just one month later when he met with advisers on Ukraine in the Oval Office.
In the interim, Trump spoke by phone with Putin on May 3, and hosted Orban at the White House on May 13.
Read the full story here.
Yovanovitch responds to Trump attacks
Schiff read out loud Trump's tweets attacking Yovanovitch and asked her to respond.
“Where I've served over the years, I and others have demonstrably made things better,” she said, including Ukraine where she said “there are huge challenges” but they’ve made a lot of progress since 2014.
That progress, she said, was made in part by the work of the U.S. and by her work as ambassador to Ukraine.
Schiff asked Yovanovitch how the president’s words might affect other witnesses in the impeachment inquiry.
“It’s very intimidating,” she said.
Schiff told Yovanovitch, “Some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously.”
Trump lashes out at Yovanovitch on Twitter during hearing
Trump on Friday smeared Yovanovitch as she testified.
In a second tweet in the thread, Trump wrote, “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.”
Trump’s claim, however, that Zelenskiy was the one who spoke unfavorably about Yovanovitch is not true.
In the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelenskiy, Trump said about Yovanovitch: “The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that.”
Zelenskiy responded: “It was great that you were the first one who told me that she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100 percent. 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.”
Trump then responded: “Well, she’s going to go through some things. I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it.”