- Rudy Giuliani has doubled down on his claim that he sought to force former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch from her job in an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham.
- “Of course I did,” the former New York City mayor said, adding: “I didn’t need her out of the way. I forced her out because she’s corrupt.”
- Yovanovitch was removed from her role in May after a smear campaign orchestrated by Giuliani, conservative media allies and former Ukrainian officials.
- She has testified that she was likely seen as an impediment in Giuliani and President Donald Trump’s quest for Ukraine to announce two criminal investigations in what Democrats have claimed was an impeachable abuse of power.
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In an interview with Fox News Monday night, President Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani refused to back down on his claim that he sought to force former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch out of a job.
Speaking to Fox News host Laura Ingraham, Giuliani was asked if he stood by comments he had made to The New Yorker magazine, in which he had said he needed Yovanovitch “out of the way” as he sought to pressure the Ukrainian government to announce two criminal investigations.
“Of course I did,” the former New York City mayor said, adding: “I didn’t need her out of the way. I forced her out because she’s corrupt.”
Democrats say that Giuliani and Trump’s campaign for Ukraine to announce a probe into Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden, and a fringe conspiracy theory that Ukraine subverted the 2016 election to help Democrats, was part of a impeachable bid by Trump to secure an advantage in the 2020 presidential election.
Yovanovitch in testimony to the inquiry said that she had been forced out of a job after a smear campaign by Giuliani and allies in the conservative media, strongly pushing back at their claims that she had criticized Trump. She claimed that Giuliani had partnered with corrupt Ukrainian officials to orchestrate her removal.
“What continues to amaze me is that they found Americans willing to partner with them and working together, they apparently succeeded in orchestrating the removal of a U.S. ambassador,” Yovanovitch said.
“How could our system fail like this? How is it that foreign, corrupt interests could manipulate our government?”
—Jonah Fisher (@JonahFisherBBC) December 5, 2019
But Giuliani has refused to let up in the search in Ukraine for damaging information on Biden, travelling back to the country to garner information from officials, one allied with the pro-Russian faction ousted after the 2014 Maidan revolution.
And on Monday he doubled down on conspiracy theories about Yovanovitch, claiming that she refused visas to four people prepared to travel to the US to testify about Biden as part of a “deep state” plot.
“There is no question that she was acting corruptly in that position and had to be removed,” he said in his Fox interview.
“She should have been fired if the State Department were not part of the ‘deep state.'”