Marie Yovanovitch, former ambassador to the Ukraine, was the star witness of Friday’s impeachment hearings. As the day’s events got underway, Trump took to Twitter with his current thoughts on the witness. In a series of tweets, he brought into question her ability to act as ambassador before spreading out into several subjects.
Donald Trump Began Tweeting As the Hearings Got Underway
There have already been major historical moments during the hearings, but the digital age made itself known when Twitter entered into the hearings. In what could only be described as a surreal moment for lawmakers and viewers alike, Yovanovitch was questioned about the statement by House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff. The exchange between Schiff and Yovanovitch was hard to miss.
Schiff Had Concerns About Trump’s Tweets
For Schiff, the tweets were more than just a distraction as the hearings continued. He spoke to the press about his concerns. According to him, these actions meet the standards for witness intimidation. The Chairman was not alone in analysis that Trump had crossed a line.
The White House released a statement as the controversy over the tweets grew. Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham spoke on behalf of the administration. In her short statement, Grisham called it merely an “opinion” which Trump was entitled to send out through his account. She also refuted any claims that this could be construed as witness tampering by anyone at the White House or administration officials.
Many Spoke Our on Their Opinions About the Tweets
The decision to attack the former ambassador as she testified brought a range of reactions from pundits, other politicians and the general public. On Fox News, panelist and contributor Ken Starr appeared to talk about the ramifications of his tweets. Starr, most known for his involvement in the Clinton Impeachment, thought the comments were “injurious.”
In a moment of rare agreement, panelists at CNN were also coming to an agreement on witness tampering. Elie Honig, legal analyst for the network, called this situation a “textbook” case that could not be misinterpreted. He went further by drawing on his own experiences with tampering cases.
Trump Further Stuck by His Statements in a Heated Press Conference
While the pundits spoke, Trump himself stepped to the podium as part of press conference on other issues. Reporters were less than interested in the talking points and speech. Instead, they quickly dug into the day’s events concerning the controversial tweets and Yovanovitch’s testimony. He started to complain about a lack of “due process” in the proceeding and once again repeated a derogatory nickname for Schiff. During the statement, he also used several of the key phrases he has echoed on various tweets about the current hearings as well as those involved.
Through a series of exchanges, Trump became visibly annoyed as he told reporter April Ryan to be quiet at one point. She directed several questions concerning the tweets and intimidation. Undeterred by his abrasive statements, Ryan continued to ask for answers. For her part, she was able to get a short answer to one of the day’s most pressing questions.
Trump then went after the media with a barrage of attacks against them. He cited the low poll numbers against them without using any direct facts or information. In the midst of his statements, Trump went into the political affiliations of those reporters both in attendance and in other places. Without evidence, he theorized that most in the media were Democrats.