After ABC News released footage from 2018 of President Donald Trump talking to associates of Rudy Giuliani about former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, questions arose as to whether Trump was swayed by individuals with a corrupt intent.
However, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) argued on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that the tape shows Trump took a measured approach to the matter.
When asked by host Margaret Brennan if he was troubled by the reporting that showed Trump was talking to Giuliani associates about the ambassador, Cotton said he was not.
“No, Margaret. This reminds a lot of what happened in the Brett Kavanaugh case when the Democrats kept releasing bombshells,” he said, adding, “And I think all we’re missing is Michael Avenatti to come out and defend someone as well.”
Watch his comments below:
“Badmouthing is a pretty good reason to fire an ambassador," @SenTomCotton tells @margbrennan in response to new CBS-obtained video of Trump calling to "get rid of" former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch pic.twitter.com/vTg2gHLqJw— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 26, 2020
When pressed on whether he thought it was damaging, Cotton argued that it was not and noted that the conversation took place more than a year before Yovanovitch was fired.
“Let’s look at the context of this report, that video was more than a year before he asked Marie Yovanovitch to be removed. And he was told in that video — we just heard — that she’s running around Kyiv badmouthing you and saying that you’re going to be impeached. The president has the right to remove an ambassador for any reason or no reason what so ever. An ambassador badmouthing the president is a pretty sound reason to remove an ambassador.”
Finally, Cotton argued that because the tape was from 2018, it showed that Trump took a more measured approach and waited for more information before he decided to seek her removal.
“I would just point out that occurred more than a year after she was removed,” Cotton said. “He was not hasty, was not precipitous. He did not just act on the word of these people. He waited more than a year, and got more information as well.”
ABC News released a video from 2018 that appears to Trump having dinner with Giuliani associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.
The tape appears to show Trump calling for her removal, “Get rid of her! Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it.”