Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, has claimed that President Donald Trump tried multiple times to fire Marie Yovanovitch from her former role as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. The claim came in an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow that aired Thursday night, hours after Ukraine announced it was launching an investigation into an alleged surveillance campaign on Yovanovitch carried out by the president’s associates. Parnas told Maddow that Trump had tried to fire Yovanovitch several times, including one occasion at a dinner they had together at the Trump hotel near the White House. Parnas also claimed Trump ordered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the national security adviser at the time, John Bolton, to fire Yovanovitch, but they decided against it. Parnas theorized that a smear campaign was organized, including the alleged surveillance campaign, to create a reason to fire Yovanovitch.
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