Trump impeachment inquiry: President tweets furious attack on envoy
US President Donald Trump has attacked the former US ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, on Twitter, in the middle of her testimony to the impeachment inquiry.
“Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad,” Mr Trump wrote. “She started off in Somalia, how did that go?”
He said it was “a US President’s absolute right” to appoint ambassadors.
Replying in real time, Ms Yovanovitch called it “very intimidating”.
Her response – at the invitation of hearing chairman Adam Schiff – was broadcast live during the televised testimony.
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Mr Schiff, the Democratic Chairman of the Intelligence Committee overseeing the impeachment inquiry, suggested the president’s tweets could be classed as witness intimidation.
The inquiry is currently investigating whether Mr Trump withheld US military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure the country’s new president to announce a corruption inquiry into former Vice President Joe Biden, now his rival for the US presidency.
Mr Trump denies any wrongdoing and has branded the proceedings “presidential harassment”.