Trump says he doesn't know Yovanovitch, Ukraine president 'not a fan'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California Kavanaugh hailed by conservative gathering in first public speech since confirmation MORE said he doesn’t know former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who testified that she was removed from her post because the president had lost confidence in her.

“I really don’t know her,” Trump told reporters at the White House before departing for a campaign rally in Lexington, Ky.

“But if you look at the transcripts, the president of Ukraine was not a fan of hers, either. I mean, he did not exactly say glowing things,” Trump continued, pointing to a memo of his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at the center of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. 

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“I’m sure she’s a very fine woman. I just don’t know much about her,” Trump continued.

Trump referenced Yovanovitch on the July call with Zelensky, calling her “bad news” and saying she was “going to go through some things.” The Ukrainian president also said he believed Yovanovitch to be a “bad ambassador,” according to the White House transcript. 

“Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous President, and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new President well enough,” Zelensky told Trump. 

A transcript of Yovanovitch's October closed-door testimony was released publicly by House investigators earlier Monday. 

Yovanovitch spoke to three House committees extensively about her removal from the ambassadorship in Kiev and a campaign against her by Trump’s personal attorney Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiTrump knocks testimony from 'Never Trumpers' at Louisiana rally Jordan calls Pelosi accusing Trump of bribery 'ridiculous' Giuliani under investigation for alleged campaign finance, lobbying breaches: report MORE

Yovanovitch also said she felt threatened when she discovered that Trump had raised her name on the call with Zelensky, at which point she had been recalled as ambassador to Ukraine.

Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan corroborated aspects of Yovanovitch's account in public Senate testimony last week, saying he became aware of a campaign against her that Giuliani was involved in this past spring and summer. Sullivan also said he was told Trump had lost confidence in her but wasn’t given a reason. Giuliani pushed back on Sullivan’s account, accusing him of “incorrectly speculating.”

Trump previously distanced himself from the controversy when Yovanovitch testified on Oct. 11, saying he didn’t know her. 

Trump has also sought to discredit other witnesses in the impeachment investigation who have testified about his interactions with Ukraine, casting some of them as “Never Trumpers.”

The president has taken shots at the anonymous whistleblower who raised alarm over his call with Zelensky, during which he also raised investigations into former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenButtigieg surges ahead of Iowa caucuses GOP eager for report on alleged FBI surveillance abuse Biden leads among Latino Democrats in Texas, California MORE and his son Hunter Biden's business dealings in Ukraine. 

“You have to see who the whistleblower is,” Trump told reporters Monday, claiming the person's complaint was “very wrong.”

The whistleblower complaint dovetailed with many of the details of the July 25 transcript; however, Trump and his allies have rejected the whistleblower’s allegation that the president was using his official position to solicit foreign interference in the 2020 election by raising the Bidens on the call.