Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) believes that “badmouthing” President Trump was enough to justify Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’s ouster.
In an interview Sunday morning on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Margaret Brennan pressed Cotton on the April 2018 recording of Trump telling Rudy Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman to “take [Yovanovitch] out!” after he was told that the career foreign service officer was “badmouthing” him in Kyiv.
When asked if he found it troubling that there are recordings of the President discussing the Ukraine pressure campaign with Giuliani associates, who he claimed he didn’t know, Cotton denied that he had any concerns and compared it to “what happened in the Brett Kavanaugh case when the Democrats kept releasing supposed bombshells” and that “all we’re missing here is Michael Avenatti to come out and defend someone as well.”
Pressed again on whether he finds the recording damaging in any way, Cotton responded that the “video was more than a year before he asked Maria Yovanovitch to be removed.”
“And he was told in that video, we just heard, that she’s running around Kyiv badmouthing you and saying that you’re going to be impeached — the President has the right to remove any ambassador for any reason or no reason whatsoever,” Cotton said. “An ambassador badmouthing the President is a pretty sound reason to remove an ambassador.”
After Brennan pointed out that although “the president absolutely has the right to do that, she told Cotton that “the question is why these business associates who have a financial and political interest in the matter were advising the President.”
Cotton then repeated his line that the “video occurred more than a year after she was removed” before he spoke over Brennan to argue that “it goes to show the President — he was not hasty.”
“He was not precipitous. He didn’t just act on the word of these people. He waited more than a year and got more information as well,” Cotton said. “So I think the video, again, it reminds me a lot of what we saw in the Kavanaugh controversy, and I don’t think it influences the votes of any senators that I’ve heard.”
Watch Cotton’s remarks below:
“Badmouthing is a pretty good reason to fire an ambassador," @SenTomCotton tells @margbrennan in response to new CBS-obtained video of Trump calling to "get rid of" former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch pic.twitter.com/vTg2gHLqJw
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 26, 2020