Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch said she was told by a Trump administration official that she should tweet out support for President Donald Trump if she wanted to save her job, according to a transcript of her testimony to lawmakers made public Monday.
Yovanovitch said that U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland gave her the advice to publicly show support for Trump after she faced criticism from right-wing media outlets for allegedly being hostile to the president.
A transcript of Yovanovitch's testimony to lawmakers in October was released Monday by the three House committees leading the impeachment inquiry into Trump. Republicans have criticized the Democratic-led inquiry for not holding the interviews in public.
According to the transcript, Yovanovitch told lawmakers that she was not disloyal to the president. She said she heard allegations in the media that she told her embassy staff to ignore orders from the president because he was going to be impeached.
"That allegation is false. I have never said such a thing to my embassy colleagues or anyone else," she said.
Yovanovitch, a career diplomat, was removed from her post in Ukraine in May, several months ahead of schedule. Trump described Yovanovitch as "bad news" in his July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
Yovanovitch told lawmakers that she was shocked and felt threatened when she found out that Trump spoke about her in the phone call.
"I was very concerned," she said.
Yovanovitch said she learned last year that Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Guiliani, was in touch with Ukraine's former top prosecutor, Yuri Lutsenko, "and that they had plans, and that they were going to, you know, do things, including to me."
The Democratic-led impeachment probe is centered on whether Trump withheld $391 million in military aid to Ukraine unless it investigated one of Trump's chief 2020 Democratic political rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden, and son Hunter Biden, who worked for a Ukrainian natural gas company.