Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., told Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on “This Week” that the removal of Marie Yovanovitch as ambassador to Ukraine was “deeply concerning.”
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Himes serves on the House Intelligence Committee that held a deposition on Friday as part of their impeachment investigation. Yovanovitch testified that President Donald Trump pressured the State Department to remove her, based on “false claims” from his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Himes believes Yovanovitch is a “very important example of abusing american trust”, in regard to her testimony Friday.
(MORE: Former ambassador to Ukraine says Trump had her removed based on ‘false claims’)
Yovanovitch said after being told in late April that she needed — “to be on the next plane” — she met with Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, FILE | Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images, FILE
Democratic Coalition member Rep. Jim Himes participates in a news conference Nov. 15, 2012, in Washington, DC. | Rep. Lee Zeldin speaks during the press conference on Sept. 6, 2018.
“He said that the President had lost confidence in me and no longer wished me to serve as his ambassador. He added that there had been a concerted campaign against me, and that the Department had been under pressure from the President to remove me since the Summer of 2018,” according to the remarks. “He also said that I had done nothing wrong and that this was not like other situations where he had recalled ambassadors for cause.”
“Equally fictitious is the notion that I am disloyal to President Trump,” she said.
“Although I understand that I served at the pleasure of the President, I was nevertheless incredulous that the U.S. government chose to remove an Ambassador based, as best as I can tell, on unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives,” she said in the statement. “To make matters worse, all of this occurred during an especially challenging time in bilateral relations with a newly elected Ukrainian president. This was precisely the time when continuity in the Embassy in Ukraine was most needed.”
In a separate interview on “This Week,” Rep. Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., who sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee, told Karl that he believed that Yovanovitch “contradicted herself” during her deposition on Friday.
He said that House Democrats are “cherry picking leaks, withholding facts and outright lying” in support of Trump’s impeachment inquiry.