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As Yovanovitch testifies, Trump attacks her on Twitter

Shane Harris on how Marie Yovanovitch’s testimony prompted accusations of witness intimidation. Elahe Izadi describes how comedian Jenny Slate works through her stage fright. And Chico Harlan wades through the tidewaters submerging Venice.
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‘Witness intimidation in real time’
Former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified in the impeachment inquiry on Friday, explaining publicly why she was ousted from her job when administration officials were beginning to pressure Ukraine to investigate President Trump’s Democratic rivals. 

As Yovanovitch spoke about her perception of Trump’s threats, the president attacked her on Twitter, drawing widespread criticism and allegations of witness intimidation from Democrats such as Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), as well as from conservatives such as former independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr.

Despite this, Yovanovitch painted a picture of a State Department and a foreign policy establishment held hostage by the whims of the president, says intelligence reporter Shane Harris.

In a closed-door deposition previously, Yovanovitch told the House Intelligence Committee that she was the target of unsubstantiated allegations that she tried to protect Americans in Ukraine by giving Ukrainian officials a “do-not prosecute” list and that she has felt threatened by Trump.

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How a stand-up comedian has embraced her debilitating stage fright
Jenny Slate is known for many things: her dramatic turn in “Obvious Child,” her comedic characters in “Parks and Recreation” and “Kroll Show,” and her vocal dexterity in “Big Mouth” and “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.”

Now, she’s showing herself to the world in a new way. After performing stand-up for more than a decade, Slate’s first special, “Stage Fright,” premiered on Netflix this month. It comes at the same time Slate released a collection of essays and musings in which she writes about “living with a dangerous amount of sensitivity.”

That’s a lot of putting-yourself-out-there for someone with an enormous amount of stage fright.

“But Jenny Slate is out here talking about it within her special,” pop culture writer Elahe Izadi says. “And not just that, but she shows herself experiencing it and talking about it and crying before she’s going to film her special.”

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Venice submerged by highest tides in half a century
Even by the standards of a city built in a shallow lagoon, the floodwaters that hit Venice this week were intense, flooding treasured sites with the highest tidewaters the city has seen in decades. 

“Being in Venice right now is a bizarre feeling,” Rome bureau chief Chico Harlan says. “You do see life go on, even when it’s too inconvenient to go on normally. Today, I saw two tourists posing for wedding photos – the bride’s gown was caked in mud at the bottom.”

Harlan says that Venice, on the surface, can rebound quickly from disastrous flooding. But the people who live there say the toll of repeated inundation is mounting. 

“It’s not a solitary event,” Harlan says. “The sea levels are rising, and Venice is Exhibit A of a treasure threatened by climate change.”

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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the premier daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Every weekday afternoon.