Top State official warned of Trump pressure campaign against Ukraine: report

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent reportedly raised concerns earlier this year about what he described as pressure from President TrumpDonald John TrumpHealth insurers Cigna, Humana waive out-of-pocket costs for coronavirus treatment Puerto Rico needs more federal help to combat COVID-19 Fauci says April 30 extension is 'a wise and prudent decision' MORE and his lawyer Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiCuomo steps into national spotlight with coronavirus fight Hannity offers to help Cuomo in coronavirus response with radio, television shows The Hill's Campaign Report: Officials in spotlight over coronavirus response MORE to investigate Trump's political opponents. 


Sources told The New York Times that Kent, who oversees Ukraine policy, expressed concern as far back as March about Giuliani's role in a "disinformation" campaign that aimed to smear people including former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCoronavirus makes the campaign season treacherous for Joe Biden Biden tops Trump by 9 points in Fox News poll Unions urge Chamber of Commerce to stop lobbying against Defense Production Act MORE and then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. 

Kent was deposed on Tuesday as part of the House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.  

“What I can say is he was clearly bothered by the role Mr. Giuliani was playing, and the disinformation he was spreading,” Rep. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyOPM chief abruptly resigns The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the APTA - Biden looks for Super Tuesday surge; coronavirus fears heighten 'Liberated' Pelosi bashes Trump — and woos Democratic base MORE (D-Va.) said of Kent's testimony. 
Connolly also confirmed the New York Times report that Kent had raised concerns about the matter as early as March. 
Kent also has reportedly said he was involved in past efforts to convince Ukraine to investigate corruption. For example, he reportedly pushed prosecutors to probe Mykola Zlochevsky, who owned the energy company where Biden's son Hunter Biden was a board member. 

Democrats are investigating the president following revelations that he pushed Ukraine to investigate the Bidens.

The whistleblower's complaint alleges that White House officials believed Trump was using his office for a political gain during a July 25 call where he pressured Ukraine's leader to investigate Biden, and that officials sought to cover up the call. 

Kent's testimony on Tuesday follows last week's testimony from Yovanovitch, who was recalled from her post in May, and former White House aide Fiona Hill.

Olivia Beavers contributed to this story.