Here is a taste of Coby Itkowitz and Rosalind Helderman’s reporting at The Washington Post:
President Trump is allegedly heard on a recording demanding the firing of then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch during a private dinner with top donors in April 2018, according to an audio file obtained by ABC News.
“Get rid of her! Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. Okay? Do it,” Trump is heard saying, according to ABC News, which said it reviewed the tape.
The recording, which The Washington Post has not independently verified, appears to corroborate an account of the evening by Lev Parnas, a former associate of Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani. In a recent interview, Parnas said he told Trump that evening that Yovanovitch was working against him.
“I do remember me telling the president the ambassador was bad-mouthing him and saying he was going to get impeached, something to that effect,” Parnas told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow last week.
Read the entire piece here.
So what does this mean?
- Trump DOES know Lev Parnas. Up until this point, Trump said he did not know anything about the man. It seems like Trump knew Parnas well enough to command him to “take out” Marie Yovanovitch. This means Trump, once again, lied about knowing Parnas.
- But let’s say Trump is telling the truth about not knowing Parnas. (I don’t see how this is possible in light of this recording, but let’s give him the benefit of the doubt for a moment). This means that he is ordering a random guy who Rudy Giuliani brought to dinner to “take out” a U.S. ambassador. Mobsters usually have “buffers” when they give these kinds of orders.