A portion of the recording shows Trump in frame of the video, which was filmed at a private dinner on April 30, 2018, PBS reported. The recording also picked up Trump telling his associates to “get rid” of then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, adding that they needed to “take her out.”
Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, was at the dinner when Trump made these claims and a voice that appears to be his can be heard during the recording.
“The biggest problem there, I think where we need to start is we got to get rid of the ambassador,” Parnas can be heard saying in the video, adding that Yovanovitch is “telling everybody” Trump is going to get impeached.
“Get rid of her! Get her out tomorrow,” Trump replies. “I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it.”
Trump has insisted multiple times that he doesn’t know who Parnas is, though Parnas’ attorney Joseph Bondy has published videos and images of Parnas with Trump and his family members on Twitter.
The release of the video recording confirms that Trump indeed called for Yovanovitch’s ouster, as suggested by reports from ABC News and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Friday.
It also sheds more light on Trump’s efforts to attack Yovanovitch and push her out of her post. While sitting presidents have the privilege to appoint and fire U.S. ambassadors, Yovanovitch testified to Congress last year that she felt threatened by the president and was a target of an unprecedented smear campaign against her reputation by the administration.
She was eventually recalled from her ambassadorship in May...