The scandal involving President Donald Trump’s campaign to get Ukraine to produce dirt on the Bidens that could ultimately be useful to Trump’s re-election campaign is continuing to spread. Now, new details have emerged tying the abrupt firing of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch to that scheme. According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump personally fired her after his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani complained that she’d supposedly been blocking his own efforts to get Ukraine to investigate the Bidens. Despite his lack of formal clearance, Giuliani has participated on numerous occasions in the Trump team’s efforts to procure that dirt — and apparently, the whole operation has affected foreign affairs even more than previously known.
Giuliani — in classic Giuliani fashion — has bluntly admitted to the allegations, although without a hint of remorse. The lawyer told the Journal that he felt that Yovanovitch “had displayed an anti-Trump bias in private conversations,” adding to CNN:
‘I felt the president needed to know this to make a personnel decision.’
Meanwhile, on the flip side, in classic Trump fashion the president has claimed to not know what people are talking about — although he did too let on that Giuliani and other allies had been clamoring against the now former ambassador.
He told reporters on Thursday:
‘I don’t know if I recalled her or somebody recalled her, but I heard very, very bad things about her for a very long period of time — not good.’
In a highly scrutinized phone conversation he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump spoke of some of these “very bad things,” telling the Ukrainian president that Yovanovitch was “bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news.” To be clear, she was simply not “working with” people in Ukraine in the way Trump and his allies insist. They’ve alleged everything from her submitting a “do not prosecute” list of names to local authorities to her conspiring with Ukrainian rogues to leak information about the Trump team’s ties to pro-Kremlin factions in the country — and it’s just not true.
Philip Reeker — the acting assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs — wrote that the “assumption that she is some kind of ‘liberal outpost’… leading a political struggle’ really is without merit or validation.”
Meanwhile, retired U.S. ambassador James Melville added to CNN:
‘We saw the knives were out for Masha but it was still shocking that she was forced to depart her post just weeks before she was going to go anyway. That’s just such a sign of disrespect, and almost contempt, for career officers and diplomacy.’
The idea that Trump and his cronies don’t respect diplomacy certainly isn’t new. Look at examples ranging from their abrupt departure from the Iran nuclear deal to their lovey-dovey approach to North Korea.
In this case, they’ve gone around official — and legal — channels to the point of having at one point drafted a statement for Ukrainian authorities to put out saying they’d look for the Biden dirt. They never did — but now, Trump is facing an impeachment inquiry over the scandal, so hopefully it was worth it!
Featured Image via screenshot