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impeachment inquiry

State Department reportedly feared Trump would 'undermine' effort to support ex-Ukraine ambassador

Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch just wanted a statement of support from the State Department in the face of an alleged smear campaign against her orchestrated by President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. But she never got one.

During her testimony in the House impeachment inquiry, a transcript of which was published Monday, Yovanovitch told lawmakers that was because the State Department was afraid such a statement would be "undermined" — by President Trump himself.

Yovanovitch said it wasn't made clear how Trump would go about that, but she reasoned the concern was that he would tweet something to that effect.

Former top State Department aide Michael McKinley, whose testimony was also released Monday, said he tried, to no avail, persuading Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to back Yovanovitch up, echoing reports that acting Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker tried to release a statement of support on his own, but was rebuffed. Tim O'Donnell