The full video recording of President Donald Trump at a private fundraiser ordering the firing of then-Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch has been leaked.
The was made during a fundraiser dinner on April 30, 2018 at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC and released on Saturday by an attorney for Lev Parnas,
Rudy Giuliani's indicted sidekicks Parnas and Igor Fruman were present at the dinner, and Fruman made the video, an audio clip from which was previously released on Friday by ABC News.
Parnas found a copy of the full video that Fruman had sent to him, according to his attorney Joseph Bondy, who released the video and is lobbying for Parnas to be called to testify at Trump's impeachment trial.
The 83-minute video begins with a roving view of the place-settings at a table set for roughly 14 people, as people mingle in the background. Place cards for 'Mr. President' and Donald Trump Jr are seen in the middle of one of the long sides.
Trump is heard on the tape saying of Yovanovitch (above) 'Get rid of her! Get her out tomorrow. I don't care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it.'
'Some people may not want their picture taken, just be aware,' a male voice is heard warning Fruman as he roams the room with his cell phone camera. Donald Trump is then seen entering to applause, and the phone is placed on the table filming the ceiling for the remainder of the dinner.
About 42 minutes into the video, Parnas appears to say, 'The biggest problem there, I think where we need to start, is we gotta get rid of the ambassador. She's still left over from the Clinton administration.'
Trump then appears to say, 'Where? The ambassador to Ukraine?'
Parnas replies, 'Yes. She's basically walking around telling everybody 'Wait, he's gonna get impeached, just wait.'
A few seconds later, Trump appears to say, 'Get rid of her! Get her out tomorrow. I don't care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it.'
After the partial audio clip of the dinner leaked on Friday, Trump defended himself, saying he had every right to fire Yovanovitch.
'I am not a fan of that ambassador,' Trump said in an interview with " frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen defending his actions on Friday. 'She wouldn't put my picture up, she was an Obama appointee I believe.'
'I make no bones about it,' he continued. 'I have every right, I want ambassadors that are chosen by me. I have a right to hire and fire ambassadors.'
Yovanovitch's attorneys have already denied that she did not put his picture up. Yovanovitch was a career diplomat who had been appointed an ambassador by both George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Asked if the order to fire Yovanovitch was directed at Parnas, a fixer who arranged interviews in Ukraine for Giuliani as he pursued his freelance investigation into alleged corruption, Trump demurred.
'I would probably say it was Rudy there or somebody,' Trump responded when asked whom the order was directed at. Giuliani has no position in the federal government and is Trump's personal attorney. It was unknown until now that he was at the dinner.
Trump defended his order to fire then-Ambassador to the Ukraine MarieYovanovitch in an interview on Friday with Fox News' Raymond Arroyo (right)
'He's somebody that I guess, based on pictures that I see, goes to fundraisers,' Trump commented in the Friday interview, with Raymond Arroyo. The interview ran on Fox News, where Arroyo is a contributor, but he is also an anchor on the conservative Catholic EWTN channel, which was founded by TV nun Mother Angelica.
Last week Trump denied knowing Parnas 14 times in one White House question and answer session, then he denied it again on Wednesday, this time saying: 'I don't know him, other than he's sort of like a groupie.'
Parnas' attorney confirmed on Friday night that he had located the recording of the dinner and passed it to the House Intelligence Committee. The recording reported by ABC News suggests that Parnas and Fruman were very much in Trump's inner circle.
Democrats seized on the recording as further evidence of Trump's involvement.
'If this is additional evidence of his involvement in that effort to smear her, it would certainly corroborate much of what we´ve heard, but I´m not in a position yet to analyze that, not having looked at it,' said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., one of the House impeachment managers.
Parnas and Fruman are heard on the recording telling Trump that Yovanovitch is bad-mouthing him. Federal prosecutors have the recording and ABC News said it appeared to have been made by Fruman, and also featured a short video with Don Jr., the president's oldest son in it.
On it, Parnas appears to say: 'The biggest problem there, I think where we need to start is we gotta get rid of the ambassador. She's still left over from the Clinton administration.'
He also says: 'She's basically walking around telling everybody 'Wait, he's gonna get impeached, just wait,' he said.
That was when Trump said to get rid of her, the tape said.
Together again: Igor Fruman (second left) appears to have made the tape which ABC News says features Lev Parnas (center)
The biggest problem there, I think where we need to start is we gotta get rid of the ambassador. She's still left over from the Clinton administration She's basically walking around telling everybody 'Wait, he's gonna get impeached, just wait.'
What Lev told Trump (who denies knowing him
Republican Congressman Jim Jordan told reporters on Capitol Hill the president had the right to recall any ambassador he wished to.
And Vice President Mike Pence made the same argument, but dodged the issue of the tape itself.
'I have not heard the tape and would not be prepared to comment on it,' Pence told reporters traveling with him in Italy. 'All of the ambassadors for the United States of America serve at the pleasure of the president of the United States.'
Yovanovitch - who has served as ambassador to several countries and was first appointed to such a position by President George W. Bush - wasn't recalled until a year later in April 2019.
She told lawmakers in her testimony during the impeachment inquiry that she was recalled based on 'unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives' that she was disloyal to and undermining the president.
She also said in her testimony she never told embassy staff to disregard orders from the administration because Trump was going to be impeached.
'I did not and would not say such a thing,' she said.
The identities of others on the recording are unclear, ABC News reports.
During an early portion of the recording where video is available, Donald Trump Jr. is seen posing for pictures with people.
The event at the president's hotel that night was an event for The America First Action super PAC - a super PAC supporting Trump's re-election campaign.