Here are 9 of the biggest bombshells in newly released transcripts from former State Department officials
Transcripts from testimony by two former high-ranking State Department officials were released — showing their concerns about President Donald Trump’s efforts to corrupt the agency they served.
Maria Yovanovitch, who was forced out as ambassador to Ukraine, and Michael McKinley, a former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, each told a House impeachment inquiry about the president’s actions toward Ukraine and threats they faced from the White House.
Here are some of the biggest bombshells from their testimony:
1. Yovanovitch told investigators that Rudy Giuliani and Ukraine’s former prosecutor general “had plans” and “were going to, you know, do things, including to me,” because “two individuals from Florida” working with Giuliani — Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who were indicted last month — wanted her out as ambassador for their own business reasons.
2. She was alarmed when Donald Trump Jr. criticized her in a March 24, 2019, tweet and asked for a statement of support from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo but never got one. “If you have the president’s son saying, you know, we need to pull these clowns, or however he referred to me,” she said, “it makes it hard to be a credible ambassador.”
3. The former ambassador sought advice from Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, who recommended that she tweet out praise for Trump. “You know the sorts of things he likes,” Sondland said, according to Yovanovitch. “You know, go out there battling aggressively and, you know, praise him or support him.”
4. Yovanovitch testified that she was notified in late April by Carol Perez, director general of the Foreign Service, that her “security” was in danger due to “nervousness” at the White House — and warned her to “board the next plane home to Washington.”
5. Acting assistant secretary of state Philip Reeker told Yovanovitch after she returned that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he “was no longer able to protect her from President Trump.”
6. The former ambassador asked for a statement of support from Pompeo but her request was denied because it could be “undermined” by the president “with a tweet or something.”
7. Yovanovitch testified that she was shocked to read the summary of Trump’s call to the Ukrainian president, and said she felt “threatened” by Trump’s warning “she’s going to go through some things.”
8. Pompeo accused Congress of “bullying” officials in his agency, but senior State Department official George Kent raised concerns — in writing — that he felt bullied by his own department, McKinley testified.
9. McKinley, the hand-picked senior adviser to Pompeo, resigned Oct. 10 over the secretary’s failure to support State Department authorities. He testified six days later that he stepped down over concerns about “what appears to be the utilization of our ambassadors overseas to advance political objectives.”