President Donald Trump, during Friday’s “impeachment” hearing with erstwhile US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, tweeted in his inimitable style a critique of her job performance over the years.
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump · Nov 15
Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad. She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him. It is a U.S. President’s absolute right to appoint ambassadors.
Some are suggesting that Yovanovitch wouldn’t have known about the tweet had not House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D, CA) read it out to her during her testimony, and so there couldn’t possibly be any intimidation. Others argue the so what aspect of that; Trump’s tweet would serve to intimidate future witnesses and to intimidate Yovanovitch were she to return for additional testimony.
Especially damning, Yovanovitch testified—under oath—in answer to Schiff’s question about the tweet, that she found it intimidating.
But damning to whom?
Yovanovitch, at the time of her ambassadorship in Ukraine (and elsewhere), was a high-level US Government representative, and she still is by extension from her “plum job” at Georgetown. Her confessing to being intimidated by petty (in several senses) criticism of her job performance tells other governments, including those of our enemies, that our government can easily be pushed around.
That emboldens our enemies to act overtly against our interests, even against us. It tells our friends and allies that we’ll fold in a crunch, including theirs.
That’s a threat to our national security.