President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Friday to defend his right as commander in chief to appoint ambassadors — even as former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified in the Democratic Party’s dog and pony impeachment show trial.
It was all enough to prompt a reaction from Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who accused Trump of “witness intimidation.”
Schiff may have been perusing social media during a hearing that could have doubled as a therapy session for the former ambassador, it was clear Yovanovitch was not — thus how could she be intimidated? At least, not until Schiff brought it to her attention.
Trump tweeted: “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him. It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors.”
“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 [Obama].”
….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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2019
Chairman Adam Schiff interrupted the hearing to point out the tweet.
“As we sit here, the president is attacking you on Twitter,” Schiff told Yovanovitch.
“I don’t think I have such powers,” she said when asked for a response. “I actually think that where I served over the years I and others have demonstrably made things better for the U.S. as well as for the countries that I served in.”
“The president is attacking you in real-time,” Schiff would add. “Some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously.”
Here’s a noteworthy exchange between Fox News’ Bret Baier and conservative radio talk show host Tammy Bruce on the matter:
The president tweeting his opinion about someone & defending himself isn’t ‘witness intimidation.’ This entire proceeding is a farce & to assign any seriousness to it is absurd. All participating should be ashamed of themselves. This will not serve Democrats well in 2020. https://t.co/dFaqLN2FrS
— Tammy Bruce (@HeyTammyBruce) November 15, 2019
An exchange between Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman and Yovanovitch seemed to capture the Democrats’ approach to impeachment, as the focus was not so much on facts and evidence as much as feelings.
“So, just like that, you had to leave Ukraine as soon as possible,” Goldman said. “How did that make you feel?
“Terrible, honestly,” she said. “After 33 years of service to our country, it was terrible. It’s not the way I wanted my career to end.”
The Republican National Committee offered Democrats a reminder on Twitter.
“Newsflash for Democrats: Hurt feelings aren’t grounds for impeachment,” read the tweet.
Today, the Democrats’ line of questioning entered the realm of preposterous.
Daniel Goldman, Schiff’s henchman just asked Marie Yovanovitch, “How did that make you feel?”
Newsflash for Democrats: Hurt feelings aren’t grounds for impeachment.https://t.co/KT0MvhppbT
— GOP (@GOP) November 15, 2019
Social media had a field day over the exchange, as seen when Townhall editor Katie Pavlich weighed in.
“This hearing is turning into a taxpayer funded therapy session,” Pavlich tweeted.
This hearing is turning into a taxpayer funded therapy session
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) November 15, 2019
But then, that may have been predictable given a tweet from Fox News reporter Chad Pergram that suggested Yovanovitch “broke down” during a closed-door deposition.
“Dem Intel Cmte mbr on Yovanovitch hrng today. Tells Fox GOP ‘had better be careful. I’d ask very few questions’ of her. Fox is told GOPers were aggressive in questioning Yovanovitch during deposition & she broke down. ‘If they do that today, it will not look good,’ said the Dem,” Pergram tweeted.
Dem Intel Cmte mbr on Yovanovitch hrng today. Tells Fox GOP “had better be careful. I’d ask very few questions” of her. Fox is told GOPers were aggressive in questioning ovanovitch during deposition & she broke down. “If they do that today, it will not look good,” said the Dem
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) November 15, 2019
Here’s a sampling of other responses from Twitter:
Look, people get fired, it’s not a good feeling. They are using her experience, which is great, as a reason to say she is beyond reproach or simply someone that couldn’t be fired. This is a show & it’s ridiculous.
— StephPaige40 (@sberghuis43) November 15, 2019
Exactly, Katie! She’s only missing the “baby voice” that Blasey Ford used.
— David (@dav1228) November 15, 2019
Christine Blasey Ford part 2 including the baby talk voice & tears
— ImWatchingToo ?? (@ImWatchingToo) November 15, 2019
Get the Lady Ambassador a pet donkey – her feelings were hurt!
— Veronica Birkenstock (@vtbirkenstock) November 15, 2019
How the Marie Yovanovitch hearing should go:
Q: Ya agree the President has right to fire any Ambassador at will, including you?
Q: Were you on the Trump/Ukraine phone call?
Q: Do you have any impeachment evidence?
Q: Feelings just hurt?
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) November 15, 2019
#Yovanovich testimony so far:
1. I dint do nuffin!
2. President Trump said mean things about me & it hurt my feelings.
3. Every bad thing said about me comes from bad people.
— Bearzus (@bearzus) November 15, 2019
So tired of this ruse. Treat me equally in all things unless you are debating, interviewing, questioning me. Then I play my woman card and I am full of the vapors and might faint. pic.twitter.com/i5NhLk03fR
— RockChalk (@NotZacksMom) November 15, 2019
Is the big bad GOP too mean for her? Oh boo hoo!!
What did she do when work was too hard?
Sorry Dems. If she cries because she’s being asked difficult questions, it’s NOT going to make the GOP look bad!
— Dean Wright (@vfx_dude) November 15, 2019
Let Elise destroy her.
— BonkPolitics (@BonkPolitics) November 15, 2019
Is this impeachment hearing all about Marie Yovanovitch feelings?
I could have sworn President Trump has the authority to appoint his own ambassadors.
— Kambree Kawahine Koa (@KamVTV) November 15, 2019
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