Around the time that Trump, his personal lawyer Giuliani, and a shady group of characters moved to oust Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, evangelical Christians were lobbying Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to oust her over a “march of equality” for LGBTQ rights. She served for 33 years until she resigned last week.
NEW: A story about ANOTHER Ukraine campaign. A letter passed to Mike Pompeo from an evangelical US pastor/lobbyist and dozens of Ukrainian Christian groups in fall 2018 demanded then-Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch be fired for supporting LGBTQ rights. https://t.co/cM6zYAQpiS pic.twitter.com/4gjkkGoFla
— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) February 5, 2020
One of the evangelicals was from the United States, Dale Armstrong, 56 from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He, along with 39 conservative evangelical groups from Ukraine appears to have been upset when Yovanovitch took part in a parade.
At the parade, the Ambassador walked with an American flag, 60 of her colleagues, and her dog.
“It’s great to be out here with so many Ukrainians supporting the right for everybody to be treated with dignity and respect,” Yovanovitc told the Ukrainian news source.
When far-right groups protested the event, Ukrainian police forces broke them up, something that may sound eerily similar to the events of the Unite the Right march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.
Armstrong called for Yovanovitch’s public apology when the U.S. embassy displayed a rainbow flag on Facebook, which he called a “treasonous act” on Twitter.
Атмосфера чудова. Для нас важливо бути бо ми підтримуємо рівні права. У 2014 люди в Україні висловлювалися за свободу, і це органічне продовження — посол США Марі Йованович йде в колоні Маршу рівності. З нею разом ще з близько 60 представників американського посольства pic.twitter.com/A07IhzxPic
— hromadske (@HromadskeUA) June 17, 2018
After introducing her dog, she reaffirmed that dignity and respect extended to the LGBTI community.
BuzzFeed published a letter that Armstrong claims was read in full by the Secretary of State, in which he and the conservative groups said the parade, which they dubbed, “bloody pride,” discredited Trump and threatened the national interests of Ukraine.
“We, the public and religious organizations of Ukraine, demand the Congress and the U.S. authorities to recall the U.S. Ambassador and give the appropriate assessment of her actions that openly discredit President Trump,” the letter said.
At another point, the letter asked for her withdrawal as Ambassador.
“We demand that the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine stop promoting and supporting the LGBT-ideology in Ukraine, and thus we insist on the withdrawal of the current Ambassador of the United States to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.”
She’ll be retiring?
According to Armstrong, Pompeo responded to tell him that Yovanovitch would be retiring next year.
“His (Pompeo’s) message was, ‘She’s going to be retiring next year. Let’s let her retire and then we’ll get someone new in,'” Armstrong said.
Thus, there is no indication in the report that Pompeo defended Yovanovitch, but there is an indication he expected her to leave soon.
Although Armstrong told BuzzFeed News that he didn’t believe his efforts had impacted Yovanovitch’s eventual recall from her post in May 2019, the news source accessed blog posts authored and then deleted by Armstrong. The blog post seems to contradict what he told BuzzFeed.
“I presented a document to our Secretary of State, Mr. Pompeo, signed by more than 20 Christian NGOs in Ukraine, who filed a petition to remove the Obama appointed Ambassador to Ukraine, objecting to the Ambassador’s flagrant emphasis on LGBT issues, and trampling at every opportunity on the rights of the family. The Ambassador was removed earlier than expected much to the shock of the Democratic Party. There was quite a bit of controversy about that in the newspapers, as well,” stated the blog.
Armstrong has connections to the former acting president of Ukraine, the current Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, and is the international director of the American Pastors Network. In addition, the report states that he has worked as a lobbyist for a conservative Ukrainian politician who sent a “Moscow friendly peace plan” to former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
In her testimony before the House, former ambassador Yovanovitch said she was told that “Trump had lost trust in her and had been seeking her ouster since summer 2018.” The timing coincides with the efforts by Armstrong, Giuliani, and others to see her removed from her longstanding role serving under both Democrat and Republican presidents.
Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch has served our country for over three decades. She believes in America, and she’s willing to fight for it.
America owes Ambassador Yovanovitch, diplomats, and public servants like her a great deal of thanks.https://t.co/R3vy9bGeBm
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 1, 2020
Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube