The Guardian reported that “Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch became the third witness to testify in public impeachment hearings on Friday investigating whether Donald Trump sought to bribe Ukraine to boost his chance of re-election by investigating a US political rival.”
But following the testimony of Marie Yovanovitch, Trump lashed out against her on Twitter. The Hill stated that “Trump took to Twitter on Friday morning to claim that “everywhere” U.S. ambassador Marie Yovanovitch went “turned bad” and suggested she was to blame for the situation in Somalia, where she did her first tour. Yovanovitch was asked to react to the tweets during the hearing on Friday which was being carried live on air, and described them as “intimidating.”
So why did Trump attack Yovanovitch and not other witnesses? Molly Jong-Fast thinks its because Yovanovitch is a woman. According to Jong-Fast writing in the Atlantic,
On the second day of the impeachment proceedings, President Donald Trump couldn’t control himself on Twitter: He lashed out at Marie Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine who was subjected to a smear campaign, and who testified to that effect before the House Intelligence Committee. Trump’s lack of control, in itself, was not unusual. But, for some reason, Trump showed more restraint 24 hours earlier, when William Taylor and George Kent went before the Committee. It was almost as if the president found himself triggered by Yovanovitch, the 61-year-old career diplomat. But why was the president’s response so different to witnesses who were roughly saying the same thing? What was the big difference between Kent and Taylor and Yovanovitch? All three are career diplomats, all three are Ivy League graduates, all three have worked in the State Department, all three are experts in Ukraine. But only one of them is a woman. Could that be why the president singled out Yovanovitch? It is almost as if the president is unable to control his rage against women. It is almost as if the president thinks he can bully women and silence them.
Trump has been seriously criticized for his harsh words on Ambassador Yovanovitch. Unapologetic however, the President says he has the right to free speech. The Hill reported that;
President Trump on Friday defended his tweet earlier in the day attacking former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch in the middle of her public testimony in the House impeachment hearing, insisting he has the right to speak out.
“I have the right to speak. I have freedom of speech just like other people do,” Trump told reporters at the White House after making remarks on a health care initiative, adding that he’s “allowed to speak up” if others are speaking about him.
Pressed on whether his words can be intimidating, as Yovanovitch and Democrats have said, Trump said no. “I don’t think so at all,” he said.