In a nearly hour-long phone interview with the Fox News morning program Fox and Friends on Friday, Donald Trump lashed out at U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who he fired on May 20. In the interview, Trump blasted the former ambassador as “not an angel,” in part because — according to Trump — she did not hang his portrait in the embassy there, as reported by Raw Story.
“This ambassador that everyone says is so wonderful, she wouldn’t hang my picture in the embassy,” Trump told the Fox and Friends hosts. “This was not an angel, this woman, okay?”
Claiming that Yovanovitch “said bad things about me,” Trump also said in the Friday interview that he felt House Republicans were too nice to her during her testimony at the impeachment hearing simply because she was a woman. Trump said he demanded to know why the Republicans on the committee were “being so kind” to her.
“Well sir, she’s a woman, you have to be nice,” Trump claimed he was told by a person whose identity he did not specify.
As an analysis by CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale showed, when Trump tells a story that appears to be fabricated, or whose origins are impossible to determine, he often quotes other people referring to him as “sir.” Dale has labeled these instances “Sir Alerts.”
Yovanovitch testified in a televised public impeachment hearing on November 15. In that testimony, according to NBC News, she detailed how she became the target of a smear campaign carried out by Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.
Her firing cleared the path for Trump, through Giuliani, to press Ukraine to announce that it would investigate former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. That demand for an investigation of Biden — an investigation that could potentially benefit Trump in the 2020 presidential election by discrediting a leading Democratic challenger — is at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.
Trump on Yovanovitch: "She wouldn't hang my picture in the embassy. She is in charge of the embassy. She wouldn't hang it. It look a year-and-a-half, two years to get the picture up. She said bad things about me … This was not an angel this woman, okay?" pic.twitter.com/mayhFy8jSG
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) November 22, 2019
Most witness testimony in the inquiry has supported the allegation that Trump attempted to extract the announcement by holding back military aid to Ukraine. He also refused to invite the country’s newly elected president to an official White House visit unless the announcement was made, according to the testimony.
Trump attacked Yovanovitch via Twitter even as she was testifying on live television.
“Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad,” he claimed in the tweet.
In Friday’s Fox and Friends interview, Trump also claimed that Yovanovitch was “an Obama person.”
But Yovanovitch joined the foreign service in 1986, when Republican Ronald Reagan was president. She was appointed to two ambassadorships by Republican President George W. Bush. In 2004, Bush named her ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, according to her State Department biography. In 2008, Bush appointed Yovanovitch ambassador to Armenia.
In August of 2016, President Barack Obama named Yovanovitch ambassador to Ukraine.