Liz Cheney criticizes Trump for tweet criticizing former Ukraine ambassador
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Liz Cheney criticizes Trump for tweet criticizing former Ukraine ambassador

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WASHINGTON — The No. 3 Republican in the House says President Donald Trump “was wrong” to post tweets critical of former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch during her testimony in the impeachment hearings.

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney said Yovanovitch “clearly is somebody who’s been a public servant to the United States for decades and I don’t think the president should have done that.”

The Republican served in senior State Department roles when her father, Dick Cheney, was vice president and she has been more supportive of the career diplomats that have so far testified than some other Republicans.

Trump tweeted about Yovanovitch as she was answering questions from lawmakers, noting that she’d once served in Somalia and adding, “How did that go?” He tweeted: “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad.”

Yovanovitch responded to Trump’s charge, saying, “I don’t think I have such powers.” She said she and her colleagues have improved conditions in places where they’ve served. She called Trump’s tweets about her “very intimidating” to her and other witnesses.

Yovanovitch was abruptly dumped as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine this spring. State Department officials never criticized her performance.

The career diplomat testified Friday that she’d been felled by a smear campaign orchestrated by Trump and his allies.

The White House, meanwhile, said Trump’s tweets criticizing Yovanovitch as she testified before the House as part of its impeachment inquiry was “not witness intimidation.”

White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham says Trump did nothing wrong. She says in a statement that the tweets were “simply the President’s opinion, which he is entitled to.”

She’s also criticized the hearing as a “partisan political process” and “totally illegitimate, charade stacked against the President.”

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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