President Trump was recorded telling two buddies of Rudy Giuliani’s that he wanted Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch fired in April 2018, ABC reports.
“Take her out!” Trump reportedly said on the recording to Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, after being told that the career foreign service officer was “badmouthing” him in Kyiv.
Fruman reportedly made the recording, which occurred at a small April 30, 2018 dinner at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.
Todd Blanche, an attorney for Fruman, did not immediately return a request for comment.
“Get rid of her!” a voice that appears to be Trump’s reportedly said on the recording. “Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. Okay? Do it.”
Parnas reportedly told Trump on the recording that “the biggest problem there, I think where we need to start is we gotta get rid of the ambassador. She’s still left over from the Clinton administration.”
“She’s basically walking around telling everybody ‘Wait, he’s gonna get impeached, just wait,” Parnas reportedly added.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) dismissed the recording as a reflection of how New Yorkers talk. “Totally different style,” Sen. Johnson said.
The recording’s April 2018 timing came shortly before Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo making similar unsubstantiated allegations against Yovanovitch.
Manhattan federal prosecutors alleged in an October campaign finance indictment of Parnas and Fruman that they committed to raise money for Sessions in May and June 2018, while also seeking “his assistance” in having Yovanovitch removed. That effort, prosecutors alleged, occurred “at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials.”
Yovanovitch was ousted one year later, after a public smear campaign run through The Hill columnist John Solomon.
Tierney Sneed contributed to this report.
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