Newly surfaced audio appears to capture President Donald Trump telling associates he wanted the then-U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch fired while speaking at a private April 2018 dinner that included Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two former business associates of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani who have since been indicted in New York, ABC News reported Friday.
As described by the news outlet, the recording appears to capture Trump speaking about Yovanovitch to Parnas and Fruman at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. The actual audio has not been released.
“Get rid of her!” a voice that appears to be Trump’s reportedly says. “Get her out tomorrow. I don’t care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it.”
On the recording, it appears the two Giuliani associates are telling the president that Yovanovitch has been bad-mouthing him, which leads directly to the apparent remarks by the president. The recording was made by Fruman, according to sources familiar with the tape.
Reports from the time indicate that Trump attended a dinner at his Washington hotel hosted by the American First Action super PAC on April 30, 2018.
The White House did not deny ABC’s reporting but claimed that Trump has the right to place people in his administration who support his agenda.
“Every President in our history has had the right to place people who support his agenda and his policies within his Administration,” White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in an emailed statement.
Trump has denied knowing Parnas, calling him a “groupie” and a “con man” when asked about his claims during a press conference earlier this week.
“Parnas I don’t know — other than he probably contributed to the campaign, along with tens of thousands of other people,” Trump told reporters in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday.