On Episode 31 of War Room: Impeachment, hosts Stephen K. Bannon and Jason Miller discuss President Trump’s tweets directed towards today’s witness, former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
War Room’s predictions about the Democrat’s angling of Yovanovitch’s testimony were right.
For Miller, “The Democrats immediately went to laying out this pathway for the former ambassador to talk about how she was aggrieved, to talk about her foreign policy worldview, to talk about how she was intimidated, literally their counsel went to her feelings.”
Bannon adds: “On this morning show, we said this was going to be about empathy, about feelings, about how she was intimidated. We knew they were going to play that.”
Another important component of Yovanovitch’s testimony was a tweet from President Trump during the beginning of her opening statement. Bannon believes Trump “heard [Yovanovitch’s] resume and had about enough.”
The following exchange between Rep. Adam Schiff and Yovanovitch epitomizes both the Democrat’s attempt to angle her testimony as centering on her feelings and characterize President Trump’s tweets as “witness intimidation”:
Schiff: Ambassador Yovanovitch, as we sit here testifying the president is attacking you on twitter, and I’d like to give you a chance to respond. First of all, Ambassador Yovanovitch, the Senate has a chance to confirm or deny an ambassador, do they not?
….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
Yovanovitch: Yes, advise and consent.
Schiff: Would you like to respond to the president’s attack that “everywhere you went turned bad”?
Yovanovitch: “I mean, I don’t think I have such powers not in Mogadishu, Somalia and not in other places. I actually think that where I served over the years, I and others have demonstrably made things better for the US as well as for the countries I’ve served in. Ukraine, for example, where there are huge challenges, including on the issue we’re discussing today, corruption, huge challenges, but they’ve made a lot of progress since 2014, including in the years I was there, and I think in part, the Ukrainian people get the most credit for that. But a part of that credit goes to the work of the United States and me as the ambassador in Ukraine.
Schiff: “Ambassador, you’ve shown the courage to come forward today and testify notwithstanding the fact you were urged by the White House or State Department not to. Notwithstanding the fact that you testified earlier the president implicitly threatened you in that call record, and now the president real time is attacking you. What effect do you think that has on other witnesses’ willingness to come forward and expose wrongdoing.?”
Yovanovitch: “Well, it’s very intimidating.”
Schiff: “It’s designed to intimidate, is it not?”
Yovanovitch: “I mean I can’t speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is to be intimidating.