State Department records obtained by Judicial Watch confirm what sources told SaraACarter.com last October, that the Ukrainian Embassy, under former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch ‘monitored, in potential violation of the law’ journalists, a member of President Donald Trump’s family and others they deemed allies of the president.
In October, Judicial Watch issued a Freedom of Information Act request to the State Department asking for “any and all records regarding, concerning, or related to the monitoring of any U.S.-based journalist, reporter, or media commentator by any employee or office of the Department of State between January 1, 2019 and the present.”
At the time, this reporter spoke to sources that had confirmed that members of the media, including myself and 12 others, were having their social media accounts spied on by members of the Ukrainian embassy” against policy and using tax payer dollars to do so.
Last October, Judicial Watch’s FOIA requested “all records pertaining to the scope of the monitoring to be conducted and individuals subject to it as well as records documenting the information collected pursuant to the monitoring.”
“The FOIA request also asks for all records of communication between any official, employee or representative of the State Department and any other individual or entity,” the watchdog stated.
Those records were delivered to the watchdog on Tuesday, and confirmed what sources had told this reporter last year.
A source with knowledge confirmed to SaraACarter.com that Yovanovitch, an Obama appointee, had allegedly requested the monitoring of this reporter. A source, with knowledge of the information, said “Sara Carter, as well as The Hill’s former columnist John Solomon, among others, were being monitored.”
In one email – many of which were heavily redacted – dated March 27, 2019, monitoring developing U.S. social media narratives on Ukraine, the Digital Team listed the names of those being monitored, including me.
Thank you! Below are some of the Twitter users with large followings whom we’ve seen tweeting on (and/or discussing on TV) Ukraine related issues over the past several days.They all have verified Twitter accounts that should be pretty easy to spot.
Sara A Carter
Donald Trump Jr.
In the email, the Ukrainian Embassy officials also noted the search phrases that would be used while monitoring the 13 reporters and Trump allies.
Thanks very much for your notes. The English-language Twitter search phrases we’re currently using for this issue are:
Yovanovich (common misspelling)
Yovanovitch was a career diplomat. She also served at embassies in Kyrgyzstan and Armenia. She was appointed ambassador to Ukraine by Obama in 2016 and was recalled by the State Department in May.
Last year, Yovanovitch testified behind closed doors during the House impeachment inquiry against Trump.
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Cuomo says he’ll ‘fully cooperate’ with NY AG’s review of sexual harassment claims
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that he will “fully cooperate” with the state attorney general’s independent review into sexual harassment allegations made against the currently scandal-ridden governor, saying, “I fully support a woman’s right to come forward.”
Last Wednesday, Lindsey Boylan, who served in his administration for over three years, accused Cuomo of suggesting to her on a 2017 flight that they play strip poker, inappropriate touching, and kissing her on the lips without her consent.
Following Boylan’s accusations, 25-year-old Charlotte Bennett alleged the governor indicated interest in having an affair with her while she was serving in his administration as a health policy adviser. In a Saturday New York Times report, Bennett told the newspaper that Cuomo asked her if she had “ever been with an older man,” adding that “age doesn’t matter” in relationships.
At Wednesday’s press briefing, the Empire State governor addressed the accusations leveled against him over the past seven days by three women and New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) independent review into those claims, which she announced on Monday was formally proceeding.
“As you probably know, the attorney general is doing an independent review, and I will fully cooperate with that review,” Cuomo said at the beginning of his statement. “Now, the lawyers say I shouldn’t say anything when you have a pending review until that review is over. I understand that, I’m a lawyer, too. But, I want New Yorkers to hear from me directly on this.”
“First, I fully support a woman’s right to come forward,” the governor began. “And I think it should be encouraged in every way. I now understand that I acted in a way that made people feel uncomfortable. It was unintentional and I truly and deeply apologize for it. I feel awful about it, and frankly I am embarrassed by it, and that’s not easy to say. But that’s the truth.”
This echoes what Cuomo said in a Sunday statement about the allegations, in which he stated he “may have been insensitive” during his tenure but charged his accusers of misinterpreting his actions, saying, “I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation… I am truly sorry about that.”
During his Wednesday remarks, Cuomo iterated “I never touched anyone inappropriately,” repeated that sentence, then said “I never knew at the time that I was making anyone feel uncomfortable” and repeated that one too.
“And I certainly never, ever meant to offend anyone or hurt anyone or cause anyone any pain. That is the last thing I would ever want to do,” he continued. “I ask the people of this state to wait for the facts from the attorney general’s report before forming an opinion. Get the facts, please, before forming an opinion.”
“I also want you to know that I have learned from what has been an incredibly difficult situation for me as well as other people, and I’ve learned an important lesson,” the governor said at the end of his statement. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for whatever pain I caused anyone, I never intended it, and I will be the better for this experience.”
Amid Boylan and Bennett’s allegations, another report of Cuomo sexually harassing a woman has cropped up. On Monday, a woman named Anna Ruch accused the governor of placing his hands on her cheeks—without her consent—at a 2019 wedding reception and asking if he could kiss her. A photograph of the two together at the event has also been circulating on social media.
Asked at Wednesday’s briefing about the pictures that have resurfaced of him being touchy with people, particularly that of him and Ruch, the governor claimed that it is his way of greeting people.
“I understand the opinion of—and feelings of—Ms. Ruch,” Cuomo said. “You can find hundreds of pictures of me making the same gesture with hundreds of people—women, children, men, etc. You can go find hundreds of pictures of me kissing people. […] It is my usual and customary way of greeting.”
Moreover, the governor said that his father, former Gov. Mario Cuomo, would do the same thing.
“By the way, it was my father’s way of greeting people,” Cuomo said, explaining, “You’re the governor of the state, you want people to feel comfortable, you want to reach out to them.”
He also mentioned that he kisses and hugs legislators and noted that at an event in Queens the other day he hugged pastors and state assembly members.
Furthermore, the governor said that his intent “doesn’t matter,” saying, “What it matters is if anybody was offended by it.”
“But if they were offended by it, then it was wrong,” he added, going on to say that if they were offended or hurt by it, he apologizes.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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