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'Get rid of her': Tape emerges of Trump calling for envoy's firing

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'Get rid of her': Tape emerges of Trump calling for envoy's firing

'Get rid of her': Tape emerges of Trump calling for envoy's firing

A video has emerged of a 2018 dinner at which U.S. President Donald Trump appears to call for then ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch to be removed.

David Doyle reports.

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'Get rid of her': Tape emerges of Trump calling for envoy's firing

It's April 30, 2018 and halfway through a dinner at the Trump Hotel, the U.S President can be heard appearing to give the order to remove the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "Get rid of her.

Get her out tomorrow.

I don't care.

Get her out tomorrow.

Take her out.

OK?" A video of the meeting emerged on Saturday and was obtained by Reuters from Joseph Bondy, the attorney for Lev Parnas.

He's the former associate of Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and has been providing evidence to Democrats as part of the president's impeachment trial in the Senate.

The 83-minute footage shows Trump posing for photos then entering a room with a table set for 15 - though for most of the video attendees cannot be seen as the camera was pointing at the ceiling.

Excerpts of the taped encounter were published on Friday (January 24) by ABC News, after which Parnas found a digital recording - according to his attorney.

Halfway though the video one of the meeting's participants suggests Yovanovitch is a problem.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) ATTENDEE AT TRUMP HOTEL DINNER, SAYING: "...the biggest problem there, I think, where we need to start is we gotta get rid of the ambassador.

She's still left over from the Clinton administration.

TRUMP: The Ambassador for Ukraine?

ATTENDEE: Yeah, and she's basically walking around telling everybody 'Wait, he's going to get impeached, just wait'.

(LAUGHTER IN THE ROOM) ATTENDEES: It's incredible.

She'll be gone tomorrow.

(UNINTELLIGIBLE TALKING) ATTENDEE: Now that we have a Secretary of State - TRUMP: Get rid of her.

Get her out tomorrow.

I don't care.

Get her out tomorrow.

Take her out.

OK?

ATTENDEE: Excellent.

TRUMP: Do it.

ATTENDEE: Excellent.

Trump has said he had the right to fire Yovanovitch, a main figure in the series of events that led to his impeachment, which he did in May 2019.

Democrats say Trump associates spent nearly a year trying to oust Yovanovitch - because they saw her as an obstacle in their efforts to pressure Ukraine into investigating Trump's political rival in the 2020 election, Joe Biden.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.




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