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ABC: Trump Orders Envoy Fired in Recording

Newser — Jenn Gidman

President Trump has repeatedly said he doesn't know Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, two associates of Rudy Giuliani who helped the ex-mayor investigate Joe Biden in Ukraine, and who were arrested in October.

Parnas has since said he feels betrayed by Trump, which prompted him to turn over a trove of texts and photos to a House panel.

Now, a recording reviewed by ABC News seems to back Parnas' claim that he and Trump were closer than occasional photo-op buddies: Parnas attorney Joseph Bondy tells the Daily Beast the recording was made by Fruman, who attended the private dinner with Parnas, Trump, and possibly others in April 2018; ABC's sources concur, noting the dinner was at DC's Trump International Hotel.

And in the recording, Trump appears to get agitated and call for the firing of ex-US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.

Voices believed to be those of Parnas and Fruman are heard telling Trump that Yovanovitch has been slamming him.

(ABC doesn't provide a link to the recording.) A voice sounding like Trump replies: "Get rid of her! Get her out tomorrow. I don't care. Get her out tomorrow. Take her out. OK? Do it." The voice that seems to be Trump's also gushes that "[Mike] Pompeo is the best." When asked for comment, White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said, "Every president in our history has had the right to place people who support his agenda and his policies within his administration." Business Insider notes the Washington Post reported in November on the same dinner, and that much of what the Post reported—based on sources who said they'd heard it from Parnas—matches the recording.

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