DONALD Trump launched an extraordinary Twitter attack on a former US ambassador to Ukraine as she testified to an impeachment hearing in Congress.
Marie Yovanovitch, a senior diplomat who the Trump administration removed from her post earlier this year, defended her anti-corruption record during the hearing.
Yovanovitch said her removal had left US policy there in disarray.
But as she testified, Trump fired off criticism of her on Twitter, saying: “Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad.
“She started off in Somalia, how did that go?”
In the most dramatic moment of the impeachment hearings so far, the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff then asked Yovanovitch for her reaction to the tweet.
She said it was “very intimidating”.
“I can’t speak to what the president is trying to do, but I think the effect is to be intimidating,” she said.
Schiff replied: “Well, I want to let you know, ambassador, that some of us here take witness intimidation very, very seriously.”
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The session before the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee is part of the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry that threatens Trump’s presidency even as he seeks re-election in November 2020.
It is alleged Trump abused the power of his office by pressing Zelenskiy to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
They have also accused him of withholding military aid to Ukraine to pressure Zelenskiy into launching an investigation which Trump has denied the accusation.