Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified on Capitol Hill Friday as part of the impeachment probe into Donald Trump. The president attacked Yovanovitch on Twitter during her testimony, which sparked criticism from some, including House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and at least two high-profile Republicans.
During an interview with host Margaret Brennan for CBS — a portion of which was released on Friday — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed Trump’s controversial tweet about Yovanovitch. According to the 79-year-old politician, Trump’s attack was an attempt to “undermine” Yovanovitch’s “strength,” Breitbart reports.
“Of course, presidents appoint ambassadors, but people don’t insult people, especially when they’re giving testimony before the Congress of the United States,” Pelosi said.
Brennan pressed Pelosi about whether Trump was trying to “intimidate” Yovanovitch, as is the belief of Schiff.
“What the president, and perhaps some at the White House have to know, that the words of the president weigh a ton,” the speaker continued.
“They are very significant, and he should not frivolously throw out insults, but that’s what he does. I think part of it is his own insecurity as an impostor. I think he knows full well that he’s in that office way over his head. And so, he has to diminish everyone else.”
Per CBS News, the White House denies that Trump’s tweets were meant to intimidate Yovanovitch, suggesting that the president was just expressing his opinion.
Per Vox, Trump’s Twitter attack on Yovanovitch accused her of being responsible for the violence in Somalia — where she was posted to the U.S. Embassy in 1986 — in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The president also highlighted that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky “spoke unfavorably” of Yovanovitch during their July 25 phone call — the conversation that sparked the current inquiry into Trump’s presidential conduct.
According to Yovanovitch, her firing by Trump was due to a purported smear campaign against her that was allegedly spearheaded by the president’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and his two associates, who are currently facing campaign finance violation charges. She believes the campaign was due to her anti-corruption work in Ukraine.
As The Inquisitr reported, Yovanovitch has taken heat for reportedly lying under oath during her closed-door testimony on October 11. During the testimony, Yovanovitch claimed that Laura Carey, a Democrat House Foreign Affairs Committee staffer, contacted her personal email, which is a breach of State Department protocol. Although Yovanovitch said she alerted the state department, the contents of the emails revealed that the former ambassador responded to Carey directly.