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Ousted Ukraine Ambassador Says State Department Consulted With Sean Hannity About Right-Wing Smear Campaign Against Her

Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images // Theo Wargo/Getty Images

The House committees overseeing the ongoing impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump released a transcript of the closed-door testimony from ousted Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.

One moment that stands out in the transcript's hundreds of pages involves one of the President's favorite television hosts: Sean Hannity of Fox News.


Yovanovitch was ultimately removed as ambassador by Trump after months of claims by Trump allies including Don Jr. and Rudy Giuliani that the ambassador was badmouthing the president and obstructing Trump's desired investigation into the Bidens by Ukraine, all unsubstantiated.

Yovanovitch testified that prior to her dismissal, she was told by the State Department that Secretary Pompeo "or somebody around him" would call Sean Hannity to get to the bottom of the claims -- was there any proof at all of the claims against her?

According to Yovanovitch:

“I was told… that the Secretary or perhaps somebody around him was going to place a call to Mr. Hannity on Fox News to say, you know, what is going on? I mean, do you have proof of these kinds of allegations or not? And if you have proof, you know, tell me, and if not, stop. And I understand that that call was made”

The testimony seemed to alarm House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff (D-CA), who asked:

"I mean, does that seem extraordinary to you that the Secretary of State or some other high-ranking official would call a talk show host to figure out whether you should be retained as ambassador?"

Yovanovitch clarified that she wasn't sure Pompeo was asking if she should remain with the State Department, but rather what the basis of Hannity's claims were.

Hannity predictably dismissed the career diplomat's sworn testimony as "fake news," insisting that he never talked to Pompeo about Ukraine. He did not say whether or not he spoke to Pompeo about Yovanovitch.

That the Secretary of State needed to consult with a far-Right television host for information about his own department was disturbing.

Hannity has had the White House's ear for some time, getting exclusive interviews with the President and regularly speaking with him on the phone on weeknights.