CNN Revels in ‘Devastating’ Hearing for ‘Sexist’ Trump by Yovanovitch; ‘Spine of Steel’

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During the first break in Friday’s impeachment hearing featuring longtime U.S. Foreign Service official Marie Yovanovitch, CNN rolled out Obama-like fluff and praise for “credible,” “devastating,” and “truly powerful” testimony by someone with “ice in her veins” and “a spine of steel” fighting a “sexist” President.

Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer immediately stated after the hearing paused: “What a devastating bit of news we have just been hearing. Truly powerful statement..This was a statement in which this ambassador said she had never seen anything like this before. She felt threatened. She is scared to this very day.”

 

 

Inside Politics host John King swooned:

Remarkably poised. Remarkably credible. Democrats may regret not putting her in the witness chair first. Not that the other witnesses didn't help make their case. You get they’re trying to do a building block approach to this, but what powerful testimony. 

King added that Yovanovitch has been “a very powerful witness to the corruption part” that the President’s behavior “was not just unusual” and “not just unorthodox” but “corrupt.”

Senior political reporter Nia-Malika Henderson tried to go beyond both of her colleagues by boasting that “this woman has ice in her veins” and “a spine of steel” in having “laid out, I thought in brilliant detail, who she was, right, and who these Foreign Service folks are.”

She continued (click “expand”):

HENDERSON: She says she's moved 13 times, seven different countries, five hardship posts. At some point in”This was, I thought, remarkable testimony. She's incredibly charismatic, incredible. I agree that maybe the Democrats should have gone with her first, but I do think that they end the week with a bang in this testimony. They go into the weekend, the Sunday shows. The President clearly watching, right? He's somebody that likes drama. He likes characters. He got a character here and certainly has a lot of drama. He was again in that tweet trying to slime her —

KING: And that is reacting in real time proves —

HENDERSON: — yes, tells you how devastating it was.

KING: — she got his attention. 

Political analyst and former Meet the Press moderator David Gregory took his spot on the proverbial fainting couch by asserting that he was “genuinely shocked by his behavior with regard to this Foreign Service officer of three decades, to disparage her, to demean her in sexist overtones saying the woman over there, to threaten her, to say to a foreign leader that she's bad news.”

Gregory also bragged about the power of the Deep State while the overused and worshipped John Dean warned that the President committed a crime with his tweet (click “expand”):

GREGORY: She made a mockery of his dismissals of the Deep State. If this is the deep state, I bet a lot of Americans looked up and said, yeah, I'll take more of that because these are people who are dedicating themselves to — yeah, serving in places that are corrupt, that are dangerous, that are going bad and trying to represent U.S. interests. I thought this was horrible for the President and let me add I don't know whether this will lead to impeachment. What this is an indication of how the President treats his people. They are his people and I’ll tell who else she indicted today was Secretary of State Pompeo. She says the they in the state department new allegations against me were false, and this West Point grad, this tough secretary of state didn't stand up for his people. That stands out pretty — yeah.

BLITZER: He comes across, by her testimony, John Dean, we’ll talk about the secretary of state Mike Pompeo, as weak, unwilling to do what a secretary of state should do to defend career foreign service officers who risk their lives on so many occasions for the United States. 

DEAN: And he's a military man. He knows the importance of that. He didn’t arrive as a civilian like Rex Tillerson to take this job. Wolf, what struck me, it's almost breathtaking, that he's — that the President is live tweeting this and he's tweeting intimidation. This is criminal. This is — there's a statute that prohibits that very kind of activity, and he's just not letting up. 

Later, Gregory bashed the GOP: “[W]e only have to remember Benghazi to recall the righteous self-indignation that the Republicans expressed as what they considered to be a Democratic administration's disregard for the valor and the bravery of those serving in our diplomatic posts, security, and otherwise.”

King remained off the rails, praising Yovanovitch as “an incredibly powerful witness” that’s created “choosing time for Republicans” because the President’s tweet was “indefensible” and that they must side with Yovanovitch even if they still choose not to impeach him.

Not to be left out, chief political analyst Gloria Borger lectured Republicans to come out against Trump since he “publicly bullied and threatened this woman” and reminded everyone that “he's a conspiracy theorist” and “he is a bully.”

And if all of those things weren’t enough, our friends at the Free Beacon and Washington Examiner respectively pointed out that chief political correspondent Dana Bash buried her face in her hands upon hearing the transcript of Trump’s first phone call with Zelensky and insisted that the President’s tweet attacking Yovanovitch was worse than McCarthyism.

To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s coverage of the Trump impeachment hearing on November 15, click “expand.”

CNN Impeachment Hearings
November 15, 2019
10:37 a.m. Eastern

WOLF BLITZER: What a devastating bit of news we have just been hearing. Truly powerful statement by the former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch speaking emotionally but very, very specifically about the accusations talked about inappropriate behavior not only by the President of the United States but by his personal attorney general, Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr., these two associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, both of whom have been indicted by the southern district of New York. John King, let's get immediate reaction to all of this. This was a statement in which this ambassador said she had never seen anything like this before. She felt threatened. She is scared to this very day. 

JOHN KING: Remarkably poised. Remarkably credible. Democrats may regret not putting her in the witness chair first. Not that the other witnesses didn't help make their case. You get they’re trying to do a building block approach to this, but what powerful testimony. She said number one that the policy went off the rails. Number two, she said she was kneecapped. U.S. policy was hijacked and show said she could not understand that while she was trying to get Ukraine and thought she was making progress at finally getting Ukraine to move towards the rule of law and enhance its anti-corruption efforts Rudy Giuliani pops up with known bad actors and she said she could not understand how corrupt Ukrainians, with the help of Americans, could undermine her and in the end, undermine U.S. national security policy in fighting. In the end of the conversation there, you see where the Democrats are trying to go, that Giuliani and they say what the President of the United States were doing was something that was on a parallel track with what Vladimir Putin wants in Ukraine, not what U.S. policy is, so they are trying to get through her and show's a very powerful witness to the corruption part. This was not just unusual. This was not just unorthodox. This was corrupt.

NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: No and I thought, you know, this woman has ice in her veins. She's got a spine of steel. She laid out, I thought in brilliant detail, who she was, right, and who these Foreign Service folks are. She says she's moved 13 times, seven different countries, five hardship posts. At some point in 1993, she was in Moscow under gunfire going to the ambassador's embassy there and she did it out of a accepts of duty. This was, I thought, remarkable testimony. She's incredibly charismatic, incredible. I agree that maybe the Democrats should have gone with her first, but I do think that they end the week with a bang in this testimony. They go into the weekend, the Sunday shows. The President clearly watching, right? He's somebody that likes drama. He likes characters. He got a character here and certainly has a lot of drama. He was again in that tweet trying to slime her —

KING: And that is reacting in real time proves —

HENDERSON: — yes, tells you how devastating it was.

KING: — she got his attention. 

BLITZER: Yeah.

HENDERSON: I think that's right. 

BLITZER: He was, clearly, the President of the United States watching all of this when he starts treating “everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad.”

DAVID GREGORY: You know, it's — I will say and I know this will sound naive, you know, in this age of Trump. I'm genuinely shocked by his behavior with regard to this Foreign Service officer of three decades, to disparage her, to demean her in sexist overtones saying the woman over there, to threaten her, to say to a foreign leader that she's bad news. You know, presidents usually understand that the job is bigger than them, that it's about the government, that you're representing the people. I am genuinely shocked and I say I'm naive in saying so given the things that President Trump has said in the years that he's been President, but I'll tell you something. She made a mockery of his dismissals of the Deep State. If this is the deep state, I bet a lot of Americans looked up and said, yeah, I'll take more of that because these are people who are dedicating themselves to — yeah, serving in places that are corrupt, that are dangerous, that are going bad and trying to represent U.S. interests. I thought this was horrible for the President and let me add I don't know whether this will lead to impeachment. What this is an indication of how the President treats his people. They are his people and I’ll tell who else she indicted today was Secretary of State Pompeo. She says the they in the state department new allegations against me were false, and this West Point grad, this tough secretary of state didn't stand up for his people. That stands out pretty — yeah.

BLITZER: He comes across, by her testimony, John Dean, we’ll talk about the secretary of state Mike Pompeo, as weak, unwilling to do what a secretary of state should do to defend career foreign service officers who risk their lives on so many occasions for the United States. 

JOHN DEAN: And he's a military man. He knows the importance of that. He didn’t arrive as a civilian like Rex Tillerson to take this job. Wolf, what struck me, it's almost breathtaking, that he's — that the President is live tweeting this and he's tweeting intimidation. This is criminal. This is — there's a statute that prohibits that very kind of activity, and he's just not letting up. 

(....)

10:44 a.m. Eastern

GREGORY: And Wolf, we only have to remember Benghazi to recall the righteous self-indignation that the Republicans expressed as what they considered to be a Democratic administration's disregard for the valor and the bravery of those serving in our diplomatic posts, security, and otherwise. I'll be very interested to see how they treat the ambassador in their line of questioning.

(....)

10:46 a.m. Eastern

KING: But here you have an incredibly powerful witness and to come back to the idea here. David makes a key point. This was different. This was off the rails. In trying to sway public opinion and perhaps sway any Republicans, wow, was she a powerful witness about “I’m an American dream. I was appointed by Ronald Reagan. I have done this for years. I'm trying to fight the bad guys.” And let’s see how the Republicans come back at her.

(....)

11:12 a.m. Eastern

KING: This is choosing time for Republicans. Let's set aside the question of is this impeachable for a minute. Is this the way to run a government? Is this the way to treat your people? Is this the way to handle things? And so that's the first choice Republicans have to make. Are they going to come out of this and say the President did nothing wrong? That's indefensible. Again, it's a whole separate question. Is it an impeachable offense, what should we be doing with this? Let me leave that aside. Can you not listen to these witnesses, especially her and come out and say the President did nothing wrong. If he wanted her recalled, he should have recalled her. Just recalled her, but to be partner with Rudy Giuliani in this smear campaign is reprehensible. To the other point about the timing of the tweet, she's in the committee. She's actually testifying, but the President also knows as he sends that tweet that number one Mr. David Holmes, the career Foreign Service officer who overheard the call with Gordon Sondland is about to testify and Mark Zandi of the Office of Management and Budget, who knows about the decision to withhold aid, who did it? Who ordered? When people raised their hands and said it might be illegal to do that, who said keep going forward with that? He's about to testify under subpoena behind closed doors and then in a couple of days, Gordon Sondland himself. 

(....)

11:30 a.m. Eastern

GLORIA BORGER: And now what do Republicans do that the President has publicly bullied and threatened this woman, who by the way praised his policy in Ukraine, that he has done this to her? What tack do they take when it's very clear that, you know, he's a conspiracy theorist, he is a bully and President that's intimidating and threatening somebody in the State Department, who’s a 30-year career diplomat. What do they do now? 

NB Daily Trump Impeachment CNN Video Wolf Blitzer Nia-Malika Henderson John King Dana Bash David Gregory John Dean Donald Trump
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