Top State Dept. official to testify politics prevented defense of Yovanovitch

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday narrowly denied the testimony of a top aide of his who resigned partially out of frustration that the State Department wasn't willing to publicly support a diplomat who President Donald Trump had attacked.

Diplomats and civil servants discussing unhappiness at the department also point to Pompeo's endorsement of Trump and Giuliani's efforts to undermine United States intelligence agencies' conclusion that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.

In fact, McKinley acknowledged during testimony that he didn't bring up the issue in May.

She testified that she saw an agenda set in motion that furthered the politics interests of certain individuals rather than the interests of the U.S. She also said she was shocked to learn that Trump told the president of Ukraine president during their July 25 phone call that she "was going to through some things".

"I was disturbed by the implication that foreign governments were being approached to procure negative information on political opponents", McKinley told lawmakers.

Yovanovitch testified that she felt threatened when she read those words when the White House released a memorandum of the call on September 24, according to the transcript of her sworn deposition released by the House. "I just don't know much about her". On all three occasions, according to the transcript of his deposition, he said he did not get a response from Pompeo. A second conversation yielded no more progress.

She said she was told Mr Lutsenko "was looking to hurt me in the USA". "I haven't had the chance - it's a pretty busy world out there - I haven't had the chance to follow this".

"At the end of the day, Pompeo's audience is sitting in 1600 Pennsylvania and it's got to be hard when you see the president the vice president, the White House spokeswoman all attacking you and your leader does not speak up for you", Pifer said.

In the October 20 interview with ABC, Pompeo offered a broad blanket denial that McKinley had ever approached him about a statement at any point from Yovanovitch's return in May until McKinley's resignation at the end of September.

In testimony also released on Monday, Yovanovitch told investigators that the campaign against her, which included an article that was retweeted by Donald Trump Jr., undermined her ability to serve as a "credible" ambassador and she wanted Pompeo to issue a statement defending her. "Not once, George, did Ambassador McKinley say something to me during that entire time period". She detailed efforts by Giuliani and other Trump allies to push her out of Ukraine, testifying that a senior Ukrainian official told her that "I really needed to watch my back". It did not respond immediately to requests for comment Thursday about the secretary's attempt to reframe his claim that McKinley did not in fact speak to him.

McKinley said he ultimately heard that Pompeo would not be releasing a statement supporting Yovanovitch from a State Department press official.

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