By Marshall Cohen
Updated 11:49 PM ET, Thu January 16, 2020
Washington (CNN)Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani, told CNN he witnessed President Donald Trump telling a top aide that the US ambassador to Ukraine should be fired.
It was one of several instances when Trump attempted to fire then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Parnas told CNN’s Anderson Cooper in the latest installment of a wide-ranging interview that aired Thursday night. Parnas, a Soviet-born businessman, has become a central figure in the campaign to pressure Ukrainian officials to investigate Trump’s political rivals.
The scene unfolded during a private dinner in spring 2018 at Trump’s hotel in Washington, where top donors to a pro-Trump super PAC — including Parnas — mingled with the President.
“In the conversation, the subject of Ukraine was brought up,” Parnas said. “And I told the President that our opinion that (Ambassador Yovanovitch) is badmouthing him — and that she said that he’s gonna get impeached — something like that. I don’t know if that’s word for word.”