Trump launches angry attack on impeachment witness because 'she wouldn't hang my picture in the embassy'

Dave Maclean

Donald Trump has lashed out at former US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch in a rambling phone call to Fox News, complaining that she was slow to hang his portrait in the to Ukrainian embassy, adding: "This was not an angel."

Ms Yovanovitch served the US in Ukraine from August 2016 until May 2019, when Mr Trump ousted her following what she called a "smear campaign" by Mr Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani.

She told a hearing of the public impeachment inquiry last week that she “had no agenda other than to pursue our stated foreign policy goals” during her tenure - but soon after she started speaking Mr Trump began tweeting about her, claiming "everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad".

On Friday, he doubled-down on his attacks against her, saying: "This ambassador that everybody says is so wonderful, she wouldn’t hang my picture in the embassy, ok?

"She’s in charge of the embassy. She wouldn’t hang it. It look a year-and-a-half, two years for her to get the picture up.

"She said bad things about me, she wouldn’t defend me. And I have the right to change an ambassador.

"This was an Obama person. Didn’t wanna hang my picture in the embassy. It’s standard, you put the president of the United States’ picture in the embassy."

He added: "This was not an angel, this woman, okay? There are a lot of things that she did that I didn’t like, and we will talk about that at some time."

This week has seen a series of historic public impeachment hearings in which key witnesses detailed new revelations about the president’s dealings with Ukraine.

Mr Trump is accused of withholding nearly $400m (£311.2m) of crucial military aid to the country as his top advisers demanded Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announce investigations into the former vice president, whose son, Hunter Biden, worked for a Ukrainian energy firm while he served in the White House. There has been no evidence presented of wrongdoing on the part of the Bidens.

On Friday morning, Mr Trump said he was hoping to receive a full Senate trial following the impeachment hearings in the US House of Representatives. The president reasserted that he would like Hunter Biden to appear, however, he added that he would most prefer to see the House Intelligence chairman get called to testify.

“I want to see Adam Schiff testify about the whistleblower - who’s a fake whistleblower,” he said. “The one I want to testify most is Shifty Schiff … and what I want to know most, is why did he make up my statement?”

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