Americas

'He simply always takes the bait': Reaction to Trump impeachment hearing

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – The US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee held its second public hearing on Friday (Nov 15) in an impeachment inquiry examining President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, with Marie Yovanovitch, former US ambassador to Ukraine, testifying.

Below are reactions to Friday’s hearing from outside the room.

ROBERT MENENDEZ, RANKING DEMOCRAT ON THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE ON U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO AND THE STATE DEPARTMENT:

“Our State Department employees deserve commendation, not retaliation. They deserve our thanks, not our scorn. And above all else they deserve leaders who will defend them, not desert them when it matters most.”

DOUG HEYE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST WHO OFTEN CRITICISES TRUMP, SPEAKING ABOUT TRUMP’S YOVANOVITCH TWEET:

“The battle lines have largely been drawn and people have made up their minds. The problem for Trump here is that, instead of being a counterpuncher he claims to be, he simply always takes the bait,” Heye said. “We learned a long time ago that despite the wishes of even his own staff, Trump is never going to simply stop tweeting.”

REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE JIM JORDAN ON TRUMP’S TWEETING DURING THE TESTIMONY:

“Look, the president has been frustrated with this relentless attack on him that started even before he was president,” Jordan said. “I think that’s what drives that.”

KEN STARR, SPECIAL PROSECUTOR IN INVESTIGATION THAT LED TO IMPEACHMENT CHARGES AGAINST DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON, ON FOX NEWS:

“I must say that the president was not advised by counsel in deciding to do this tweet. Extraordinarily poor judgment. The president frequently says ‘I follow my instincts.’ Sometimes we have to control our instincts, so obviously this was, I think, quite injurious. I don’t think it rises to the level of intimidation of a witness, but I think that’s the way its going to be characterised.”

FOX NEWS ANCHOR BRET BAIER ON YOVANOVITCH TESTIMONY, ON TWITTER:

“That was a turning point in this hearing so far. She was already a sympathetic witness & the President’s tweet ripping her allowed Schiff to point it out real time characterizing it as witness tampering or intimidation -adding an article of impeachment real-time.”

WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY STEPHANIE GRISHAM:

“The President will be watching Congressman Nunes’ opening statement, but the rest of the day he will be working hard for the American people.”

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP ON TWITTER DURING THE HEARING:

“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 US President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors.”

DEMOCRATIC REPRESENTATIVE DAVID CICILLINE ON TWITTER:

“Ambassador Yovanovitch is a patriot. What the President and his cronies did to her is despicable.”

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