Trump attacks Pence aide who called Ukraine call ‘inappropriate’
President Trump railed against Jennifer Williams, a career foreign service officer and staffer to Vice President Pence, after she told lawmakers in closed-door testimony that Trump’s July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the center of the impeachment inquiry was “inappropriate.”
“Tell Jennifer Williams, whoever that is, to read BOTH transcripts of the presidential calls, & see the just released ststement from Ukraine,” the president tweeted Sunday afternoon. “Then she should meet with the other Never Trumpers, who I don’t know & mostly never even heard of, & work out a better presidential attack!”
Trump also used the label “Never Trumpers” to attack diplomat William Taylor and State Department official George Kent after they testified in the impeachment inquiry last week.
He also took aim at what he called “Crazed, Do Nothing Democrats” in a tweet moments later, accusing them of “turning Impeachment into a routine partisan weapon. That is very bad for our Country, and not what the Founders had in mind!!!!”
“Republicans & others must remember, the Ukrainian President and Foreign Minister both said that there was no pressure placed on them whatsoever,” he wrote in another tweet. “Also, they didn’t even know the money wasn’t paid, and got the money with no conditions. But why isn’t Germany, France (Europe) paying?”
On Saturday, House Democrats released a transcript of Williams’s closed-door testimony with lawmakers as part of the chamber’s ongoing impeachment inquiry into Trump.
During her deposition, Williams testified that she has firsthand knowledge of the July 25 phone call between Trump and Zelensky as one of the officials on the call.
Williams testified that she found a few references made in the phone call — during which Trump asked Zelensky to look into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden as well as the hack of the Democratic National Committee server in 2016 — to be “unusual, and more of a political nature.”
When pressed by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) on her feelings about the concerns raised by Trump during the call, Williams testified that she “found them to be more political in nature and, in the context of a foreign policy – or an engagement with a foreign leader, to be more political than diplomatic.”
“Some people would say that diplomacy itself is inherently political, and so everything diplomatic is, by definition, political also, but you had a strong reaction to that. Can you spell out what you saw improperly political about those mentions?” Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) asked Williams during her testimony.
“I believe I found the specific mentions to be – to be more specific to the president in nature, to his personal agenda … as opposed to a broad foreign policy objective of the United States,” Williams responded.
“I guess for me it shed some light on possible other motivations behind a security assistance hold,” she added.
Williams is expected to testify publicly next week as part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry into Trump.