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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What's going on inside the White House today?
Top staffers to President Donald Trump have been huddling behind closed doors in the West Wing. White House counsel Pat Cipollone, leaving the office of Hogan Gidley, declined to answer questions about whether the president’s real-time tweets on Yovanovitch amounted to witness intimidation.
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, leaving press secretary Stephanie Grisham’s office, also did not answer questions.
Despite the White House’s insistence that the president “will be working hard for the American people” today, he is clearly engaged in the hearing nonetheless.
Trump attacked Yovanovitch as she testified in the impeachment inquiry. Here's her response.
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.
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