Marie Yovanovitch says State Department leaders lack 'moral clarity'

Catherine Garcia

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch sounded the alarm on Wednesday night, telling an audience at Georgetown University that the State Department is "in trouble," with leaders who lack "policy vision" and "moral clarity."

Yovanovitch was ousted from her post last May, following a smear campaign orchestrated by President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. During the impeachment inquiry, Yovanovitch testified that she felt undermined and threatened by people who wanted her out of their way. She was removed from Kyiv at the same time Giuliani was digging for dirt in Ukraine on Trump's political rivals.

Yovanovitch, who retired from the State Department last month, told the crowd that when it comes to foreign policy, the U.S. needs to be "principled, consistent, and trustworthy. To be blunt, an amoral, keep-them-guessing foreign policy that substitutes threats, fear, and confusion for trust cannot work over the long haul. At some point, the once-unthinkable will become the inevitable — that our allies who have as much right to act in their own self-interest as we do, will seek out more reliable partners whose interests might not align well with ours."

These were Yovanovitch's first public remarks since leaving the State Department. She was at Georgetown to accept an award from the School of Foreign Service, and received a standing ovation from the audience.

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