House Republicans Give Trump Cover On Tweets Attacking Yovanovitch

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 15: Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee listen as former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testifies before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth Ho... WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 15: Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee listen as former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testifies before the House Intelligence Committee in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill November 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. In the second impeachment hearing held by the committee, House Democrats continue to build a case against U.S. President Donald Trump’s efforts to link U.S. military aid for Ukraine to the nation’s investigation of his political rivals. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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November 15, 2019 5:00 p.m.

Just minutes after ousted Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch’s public testimony wrapped up, a number House Republicans defended President Trump’s Friday morning tweets attacking the career diplomat.

As Yovanovitch’s testimony was underway Friday morning, Trump tweeted that “everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad” and that it is a President’s “absolute right to appoint ambassadors.”

During a press conference Friday following the conclusion of Yovanovitch’s testimony, House Republicans defended the President’s tweets that swiftly garnered backlash and accusations of witness tampering.

When asked by a reporter on whether it was appropriate for Trump to attack a witness amid their testimony, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) argued that’s not what happened.

“I don’t know that it was an attack on the witness. It was really characterization of her resume, and when you look at this, when you look at this, you guys want him to go in with no attorneys, no witnesses, no Twitter or no anything,” Meadows said. “At some point you’ve got to say, when is it going to be a fair process? Today was not a fair process in there.”

After a reporter asked whether it was a fair process for Yovanovitch, Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) argued that House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) failed to point out the second sentence of Trump’s tweet — which referred to the July phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in which Zelensky “spoke unfavorably about her” — to Yovanovitch when he questioned her.

“I think it would’ve been more responsible if Adam Schiff wants to ask that question to let Ambassador Yovanovitch read the entire tweet to digest it and then respond,” Zeldin said. “By the way, if you want to talk about what President Trump said to President Zelensky about Ambassador Yovanovitch? Why would he cherry pick out once again, he loves to withhold key facts. That’s how he rolls.”

However, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) said that she “disagrees with the tone of the tweet,” before saying that she “happens to disagree with the tweet” and that Democrats want to wage a “political food fight.”

“I said I disagree with the tone of the tweet. Again, when we are talking about impeachment, we are talking about impeachable offenses. You can disagree or agree with the tweet — I happen to disagree with the tweet. But again, as we know, the Democrats want to continue making this a political food fight. They are going about it in a partisan way.”

Earlier Friday, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) backed Trump on his tweets by arguing that “the President has been frustrated with this relentless attack on him by the Democrats” and that he did not commit witness tampering with his tweets, according to CNN.

Watch the House Republicans’ remarks below:

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