WASHINGTON – Democrats may view it as "witness intimidation," but President Donald Trump said he just voiced his opinion when he beat his former ambassador to Ukraine during her public statement in the impeachment investigation.
"I have the right to speak. I have the freedom of speech, just like other people, "Trump told reporters in the White House on Friday after a tweet that democrats equated with witness manipulation.
"Marie Yovanovitch went bad everywhere. She started in Somalia Then quickly to the Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian president spoke unfavorably to her in my second phone call. It is the US president's absolute right to appoint ambassadors, "Trump tweeted as Yovanovitch testified before the House Intelligence Committee.
During a statement break, chairman of the committee, Adam Schiff, told D-Calif., The Tweet" Real-time witness intimidation "
" It was not enough that Ambassador Yovanovitch was smeared, it was not enough that she was attacked, it was not enough that she was recalled for no reason, at least for no good reason, "Schiff said "But we saw today that the President of the United States witnessed intimidation in real time as he sought to return to this dedicated and respected civil service career not only to reassure her, but also to reassure others who might Report. We assume that this kind of intimidation of witnesses and prevention of investigations is very serious.
Trump threw back the allegations of manipulation on ship while talking to reporters at a White House event.
"I'll tell you what manipulation is manipulation is when a guy like 'Shifty Ship & # 39; Manipulation is when ship does not let us witness, does not let us speak. "Trump said," No one has gone through such a terrible trial, there was no proper procedure. "
Asked if his words and tweets could be considered intimidating, Trump said, "I do not think so. "
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The White House press officer, Stephanie Grisham, told NBC News before Trump spoke the tweet, "It was no intimidation of the witnesses, but only the opinion of the president to whom he is entitled. "
This is not a process, it is a party political process – or more precisely, a completely illegitimate charade against the president," she added ,
A high-ranking government official put it similarly. "The President's Right to Comment on Her Professional Achievement This is not intimidation." Yovanovitch, the official argued, "is not immune to people criticizing their acts . "
Jim Ohio GOP MP, an ally of the President recently appointed as a member of the Intelligence Committee, noted that Ship was the person Yovanovitch told during the hearing of the Tweet, which suggested that she did not know about an alleged intimidation attempt if he had not told her.
Jordan also said that Trump was not intimidating Yovanovitch – he has just vented.
"The President was a little frustrated with The implacable attacks of the Democrats, what now, three and a half years? "Jordan said, adding that he did not think that the Tweet Yovanovitch would shake.
"I think Ambassador Yovanovitch has served in five difficult areas what [did] she says? I think she's a pretty tough woman," he said
During the hearing, the ship read Trump's tweets to Yovanovitch and asked she, to answer.
"Wherever I have served over the years, I and others have proven to improve things," she said, also in Ukraine.
Democrats suggested that the tweet could amount to an offense and be added to potential impeachment.
Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., A member of the intelligence committee, told reporters that the president intimidated witnesses and added such an indictment to the impeachment trial. "Considered."
"Innocent people are not intimidating and are only more guilty," Swalwell told reporters.
Rep. David Cicilline, DR.I., a member of the House Judiciary Committee, who was considering impeachment, tweeted : "The President performs witness manipulation during a hearing on Congressional removal. That's a crime. Every Republican should say that if they are right.
Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., Tweeted that the President's attacks on Yovanovitch were "extremely worrying" and that Congress would "not tolerate such behavior."
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – the He also wrote on Twitter: "Intimidation of witnesses is a crime no matter who does it."
Dareh Gregorian reported from New York and Hallie Jackson from Washington. [19659026DarehGregorian”/>