ABC News has published a recording of Donald Trump in a discussion with a group of people, including Lev Parnas, ordering the removal of Ambassador Yovanovitch.
The tape is damning, but it may also help Trump’s case.
The Argument Against Trump
For weeks now, Donald Trump has insisted he does not know Lev Parnas and he never met him.
To this point, Parnas has produced pictures from fundraisers, but the information he has provided could have been one of a hundred people posing for selfies at a fundraising event.
Because he was there, it did not mean that he had any real relationship with Trump.
This audio, however, clearly puts him at a dinner with Trump, discussing the problems in Ukraine…
Now, this is being sensationalized as some type of threat against Yovanovitch, but that is being a bit dramatic.
Trump clearly wanted her fired, period.
The really damaging thing for Trump in all of his, however, is the fact he has regularly denied actually knowing Parnas in any way.
Most recently, Trump stated, “I don’t know Parnas other than I guess they had pictures taken which I do with thousands of people.
“I don’t know him at all, don’t know what he’s about, don’t know where he comes from, know nothing about him.”
Could Trump still make the argument that Giuliani wanted him to have dinner with someone that had information about one of his ambassadors and her conduct and Trump simply forgot it was Parnas?
Yes, that argument could be made, but it is thin at best.
The Argument for Trump
As damaging as this tape is against Trump, it is also had a key element in it that will actually help Trump.
During the conversation, Parnas tells Trump that Yovanovitch is telling people “She’s basically walking around telling everybody wait, he’s gonna get impeached.”
At this point, Trump replies, “Get rid of her. Get rid of her tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. Okay? Do it.”
Now, Trump is clearly not ordering her murder, as some pundits are trying to say.
He is, however, ordering the termination of an ambassador that is clearly undermining his authority due to the fact she believes he is going to be impeached and removed from office.
If that was truly the case and she was doing this, Trump has every reason to want her removed from her position.
There is not a president in our history that would tolerate an ambassador acting this way.
Still, though, Trump is going to have to come up with a valid excuse as to how he sat down to dinner with Parnas and denied knowing him at all other than running into him at fundraising events.
That is going to be a tough sell for Trump and it is one that Democrats are going to latch on to and use against him during this impeachment.
Source: ABC News
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