Lev Parnas, an associate to President Trump‘s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, said Thursday in an interview that Trump ordered the firing of former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch after Parnas informed the president Yovanovitch was “bad-mouthing” Trump.
In an interview with CNN, Parnas revealed that during a conversation in at Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel, Trump was informed by Parnas that Yovanovitch had told others that Trump would be impeached, causing the president to react angrily.
“In the conversation, the subject of Ukraine was brought up. And I told the President that our opinion that [Yovanovitch] is badmouthing him, and that she said that he’s gonna get impeached, something like that. I don’t know if that’s word for word,” Parnas said.
“[H]is reaction was, he looked at me, like, got very angry, and basically turned around to [former White House aide] John DeStefano, and said, ‘Fire her. Get rid of her,'” he continued.
“I should be their number one witness, I’m the one that got all the dirt, supposedly. Why aren’t they calling me to testify? Why do they need Biden? Call me.”
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) January 17, 2020
The conversation allegedly occurred last spring, shortly before Yovanovitch was ousted from her position as ambassador to Ukraine. In an interview with MSNBC Wednesday night, Parnas explained that the only reason for her ouster was her opposition to the president and his efforts to convince Ukraine’s president to launch a criminal investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden (D).
Yovanovitch called for an investigation earlier this week after three House committees released evidence submitted to the Senate for the upcoming impeachment trial that suggested her movements were being monitored in Ukraine before her firing.
“Needless to say, the notion that American citizens and others were monitoring Ambassador Yovanovitch’s movements for unknown purposes is disturbing,” her attorney said in a statement obtained by The Hill. “We trust that the appropriate authorities will conduct an investigation to determine what happened.”