Witness intimidation or twitter trolling in the case of Yovanovitch?
Fox News: Trump trolls ambassador as she testifies, says all her diplomatic assignments turned bad
Trump’s twitter comment after Yovanovitch testified today and after she said that she was being kneecapped: “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him. It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors”
According to Fox News, Trump was trolling Yovanovitch on Twitter. They also add that Giuliani “blasted Yovanovitch during her testimony” for alleged wrongdoing.
CNN: Schiff just accused President Trump of witness intimidation after his real-time tweets
They quote Schiff: “Ambassador, you’ve shown the courage to come forward today and testify. Notwithstanding the fact that you were urged by the White House or State Department not to, notwithstanding the fact that as you testified earlier the President implicitly threatened you in that call record, and now the President — in realtime — is attacking you. What effect do you think that has on other witnesses willingness to come forward and expose wrongdoing?”
Yovanovitch responds: Very intimidating.
Out of context, Trump’s last sentence: “It is a US President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors”, could sound intimidating (suggesting that she will never again appointed, for as long as he is the president), the question of whether the President can nominate and appoint the ambassador as he wills, was the main question of today’s hearing. So Trump is referring to that. Schiff is being overly dramatic by claiming that it amounts to “witness intimidation” (there are no threats, veiled or explicit), because Trump is simply reiterating that he removed he because of her wrongdoings, and not because he did not like her.
VERDICT: Falls short of witness intimidation.