Quigley Questions Yovanovitch About Impact of President’s Attacks
Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05) questioned Marie “Masha” Yovanovitch, Former Ambassador to Kyiv, Ukraine, during the second day of public hearings in the House of Representatives Impeachment Inquiry. Quigley asked Yovanovitch about the impact of President Trump’s recalling on her career. He also questioned the former Ambassador about advice she was given by Ambassador Gordon Sondland on how to keep her job in the face of President Trump’s attacks.
Video of Quigley’s questioning is available here. A transcript is provided below.
QUIGLEY: Thank you. Ma'dam Ambassador, it's like a hallmark movie. You ended up at Georgetown. This is all okay. But it wasn't your preference 7, 8 months ago, correct?
YOVANOVITCH: No it was not.
QUIGLEY: It wasn't your preference to be the victim of a smear campaign, was it?
QUIGLEY: Wasn't your preference, including today, was it?
QUIGLEY: Wasn't your preference to be ousted at seemingly the pinnacle of your career was it?
QUIGLEY: You wanted to finish your extended tour, correct?
YOVANOVITCH: I did.
QUIGLEY: What did you want to do after that? Did you know?
YOVANOVITCH: I wasn't sure.
QUIGLEY: There's nothing wrong with Georgetown. It's a fine place, right?
YOVANOVITCH: It's a wonderful place.
QUIGLEY: But it's your only choice at the end of a distinguished career after all that. It's not the end of a Hallmark movie. It's the end of a really bad reality TV show, brought to you by someone who knows a lot about that.
Why did you—you previously testified that you sought advice from Ambassador Sondland at this time about what to do, is that correct?
YOVANOVITCH: I did.
QUIGLEY: Why did you reach out to the Ambassador?
YOVANOVITCH: Because this was clearly so political and was not going to be, you know, the State Department was not in a position shall we say, to manage the issue, it didn't appear to me. And so I asked Ambassador Sondland, who said that he, you know, he was a political appointee. He said he was close to the President and so he had just been in Ukraine for a ship visit with some of his EU colleagues from Brussels and so I reached out to him for advice. When this was no longer a Ukraine kind of interview with Mr. Lutsenko, kind of a Ukrainian, but it became sort of the American, American politicians and pundits etc were repeating those allegations. I asked him for advice.
QUIGLEY: It meant a lot to you. This is an extraordinary time. It meant, the advice meant a lot and what was his advice?
YOVANOVITCH: Well he suggested that I needed to go big or go home, and he said that the best thing to do would be to, you know, send out a tweet, praise the President that sort of thing.
QUIGLEY: And what was your reaction to that advice?
YOVANOVITCH: Well my reaction was that I'm sure he meant well, but it was not advice that I could really follow. It felt It felt partisan. It felt political and I just, that was not something that I thought was in keeping with my role as ambassador and a foreign service officer.
QUIGLEY: Did he give you any specific suggestions on what to say about the President of the United States or just say something nice about him?
YOVANOVITCH: Yeah. Just praise him.
QUIGLEY: Thank you. I yield the balance to the Chairman.