George Kent: Giuliani’s ‘Smear Campaign’ of Trump’s Own Ambassador Was ‘Ubiquitous on Fox News’ and Twitter
Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, George Kent, testified Rudy Giuliani’s “smear campaign” against former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch was “ubiquitous in the spring of 2019 on Fox News” and the “Twittersphere” during the impeachment hearing Wednesday.
“To my understanding, the then-prosecutor general of Ukraine, now ex, Yuriy Lutsenko, met Rudy Giuliani in New York on a private visit in January,” Kent proclaimed. “They had a second meeting in February, and through the good officers of the former Mayor of New York, Yuriy Lutsenko gave an interview to John Solomon, then of the Hill, in early March, and the campaign was launched on March 20th.”
Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) replied, “A corrupt Ukrainian prosecutor gave an interview to a reporter in the United States and made claims that the ambassador provided officials with a ‘do not prosecute’ list. Sir, do you have any reason to believe this is true?”
“I have every reason to believe it is not true,” Kent declared.
“What was the reputation of the man who made these allegations, sir?” asked Carson, prompting Kent to respond, “Yuriy Lutsenko was a politician of longstanding. He had been Minister of the Interior after the Orange Revolution. The U.S. embassy had good relations with him for years. He was imprisoned by President Yanukovych, came out, was elected majority leader of Poroshenko the then-president’s party and then became prosecutor general in the Spring of 2016.”
The back-and-forth continued:
Carson: “What was your experience with Ambassador Yovanovitch? Was she working hard to combat corruption in Ukraine, sir?”
Kent: “She was dedicated as is every U.S. government official in Ukraine to help Ukrainians overcome the legacy of corruption, which they actually have made a number of important steps since 2014.”
Carson: “So in fact, before all of this happened, you and your superiors at the State Department asked the ambassador to extend her time in the Ukraine. Correct, sir?”
Kent: “That is correct.”
Carson: “Did you support her extension?”
Kent: “I asked her to extend until the end of this year to get through the election cycle in Ukraine, and then Under Secretary Hale in March asked her to stay until 2020.”
Carson: “Now, some in Ukraine probably disliked her efforts to help Ukraine root out corruption. Is that correct?”
Kent: “As I mentioned in my testimony, you can’t promote principled anti-corruption action without pissing off corrupt people.”
Carson: “Fair enough. Now, some of those people helped Giuliani smear her, did they not?”
Kent: “They did.”
Carson: “So ultimately that smear campaign pushed President Trump to remove her. Correct, sir?”
Kent replied, “I cannot judge that. What I can say is that Rudy Giuliani’s smear campaign was ubiquitous in the spring of 2019 on Fox News and on the internet and Twittersphere.”
After Carson questioned, “So Ambassador Taylor and Mr. Kent, in all of your combined decades at the State Department, have you ever before seen an instance where an ambassador was forced out by the president following a smear campaign of misinformation orchestrated by the president’s allies?” The two replied that they had not.
You can watch above, via CNN.
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