Trump tells Geraldo he sent Giuliani to Ukraine, 'not' sorry for it

Clay Curtis
February 15, 2020

Yovanovitch was critical of the Trump administration's proposed 22% cut to the global affairs budget, noting that it was hard to see how cutting the budget for World Health Organization during the coronavirus outbreak keeps America safe.

Federal prosecutors in NY have advanced their investigation into President Donald Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, pursuing more documents and witness testimonies while the Justice Department simultaneously accepts information from the former NY mayor on Ukraine, according to The Washington Post.

Yovanovitch gained experience in diplomacy outside of her Ukrainian ambassadorship.

Much of her remarks referred obliquely to the challenges State Department professionals now face, from reduced staffs and budgets, low morale, and accusations by the Trump administration that many government professionals are part of the president has called the "deep state" working against his administration.

Although the diplomatic corps continually rallied to her side, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo repeatedly failed to defend her from attacks.

Yovanovitch took the stage at Georgetown University to a standing ovation to receive an award from the School of Foreign Service. "It's not as exciting as sending in the marines, but it's cheaper and usually more effective".

"Here's my choice: I deal with the [James] Comeys of the world, or I deal with it another way", Trump said of using his personal lawyer to fight alleged corruption by a political opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

"She has, in every sense of the word, acted in the highest tradition of those who serve our country, " said Pickering, himself a recipient of the Trainor Award.

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Trump previously said he did not direct Giuliani's efforts in Ukraine, seeking to distance himself from damaging information that emerged during his impeachment trial in the House a year ago.

Asked in a Thursday podcast with the Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera whether it was "strange" to send Giuliani to Ukraine, Trump said no and praised Giuliani as a "crime fighter".

Asked by Rivera if he thought it was odd to send Giuliani to Ukraine or if he's sorry that he made that move, Trump answered, "Not at all". "I went to the Ukraine for the first time, like, three weeks ago to interview a witness".

"So you didn't direct him to go there on your behalf?"

She did not address the back-channel efforts explicitly but warned about the state of diplomacy more broadly at a time when authoritarianism seems to be on the rise.

Yovanovitch referred to current US foreign policy as a system that "cannot work over the long haul", ABC News reported.

In October, Yovanovitch affirmed to Congress that she was remembered due to "unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives". Yet, in a almost 34-year career at the State Department, she received a series of promotions under both Republican and Democratic administrations, with positions that included ambassador to Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.

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