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Ex-Ukraine envoy says she was fired on ‘unfounded’ and ‘false’ grounds after standing up to Trump and Giuliani

Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine, testified to Congress on Friday that she was removed from her position based on “unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives,” The New York Times reported.A whistleblower complaint filed against President Donald Trump said Yovanovitch was removed after she criticized the former Ukrainian prosecutor…

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Ex-Ukraine envoy says she was fired on ‘unfounded’ and ‘false’ grounds after standing up to Trump and Giuliani
  • Marie Yovanovitch, the former US ambassador to Ukraine, testified to Congress on Friday that she was removed from her position based on “unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives,” The New York Times reported.
  • A whistleblower complaint filed against President Donald Trump said Yovanovitch was removed after she criticized the former Ukrainian prosecutor general’s “poor record on fighting corruption.”
  • Yovanovitch’s criticism was at odds with Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, each of whom praised the prosecutor for spreading rumors about former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
  • “I do not know Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me,” Yovanovitch testified, adding that people associated with Giuliani “may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine.”
  • Yovanovitch’s testimony is likely to infuriate the White House and the State Department, both of which have sought to restrict government officials from cooperating with Congress’ impeachment inquiry.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump’s former ambassador to Ukraine testified to Congress on Friday that she was removed from her position based on “false claims by people with clearly questionable motives,” The New York Times reported.

Marie Yovanovitch told congressional investigators she was “incredulous” after being recalled over what she called “unfounded” claims, the report said. In the testimony, which was closed to the public, Yovanovitch also reportedly said she was told by a top State Department official that the president had pushed for her removal even though the State Department believed she had “done nothing wrong.”

According to The Times, Yovanovitch testified that John Sullivan, the deputy secretary of state, told her earlier this year that “this was not like other situations where he had recalled ambassadors for cause.”

Instead, Sullivan reportedly told Yovanovitch that Trump had “lost confidence in me and no longer wished me to serve as his ambassador.” She was also said to have testified that there’d been “a concerted campaign against me” and that the department “had been under pressure from the president to remove me since the summer of 2018.”

Read more: These are the key players you need to know to make sense of the Trump impeachment inquiry

Yovanovitch’s congressional testimony is likely to infuriate the president and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo because both the White House and Pompeo have sought to restrict government officials from complying with Congress’ impeachment inquiry.

Yovanovitch was one of several US government officials named in an explosive whistleblower complaint that an intelligence official filed against Trump in August. Among other things, the complainant accused the president of abusing his power during a July 25 phone call by repeatedly pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter on suspicion of corruption.

Trump also told Zelensky during their conversation that Yovanovitch was “bad news,” according to a White House summary of the call.

The whistleblower’s complaint mentioned Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, 31 times and described him as a “central figure” in Trump’s efforts to coax Ukraine to investigate his political opponent. It named several State Department officials as being involved in Giuliani’s and Trump’s efforts.

“Today we see the State Department attacked and hollowed out from within,” Yovanovitch told Congress on Friday, according to a copy of her opening statement obtained by The Times. She added that Giuliani’s and his allies’ allegations that she was disloyal to Trump were “fictitious.”

Read more: 2 of Rudy Giuliani’s associates who prosecutors say helped him dig up dirt on Joe Biden have been charged with campaign-finance violations

“I do not know Mr. Giuliani’s motives for attacking me,” she said. But people associated with Giuliani “may well have believed that their personal financial ambitions were stymied by our anti-corruption policy in Ukraine.”

Yovanovitch was recalled from Ukraine in May, while Giuliani was urging Ukrainian government officials to investigate baseless claims of corruption against Biden and his son.

A former diplomat, recalling a recent conversation with Yovanovitch, told the Associated Press this week that she was removed because she insisted that Trump and Giuliani’s request for Ukrainian officials to investigate the Bidens be relayed through official channels.

Yovanovitch was also tough on Yuriy Lutsenko, Ukraine’s former prosecutor general, and the divide between her and Giuliani widened when she wouldn’t help Giuliani look for dirt on Hunter Biden ahead of the 2020 election.

“She refused to allow her embassy to be dragged into some sort of effort to concoct dirt for political purposes,” a former official told The Guardian.

Two of Giuliani’s foreign associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, are also accused of lobbying a US congressman to help remove Yovanovitch, according to an indictment against the two men filed this week. Parnas and Fruman were arrested and charged with campaign-finance violations on Wednesday.

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A new pitch deck from IAC’s Dotdash shows how it plans to grow its media business after the Match spinoff

BI Prime Michael Seto/Business Insider This story requires our BI Prime membership. To read the full article, simply click here to claim your deal and get access to all exclusive Business Insider PRIME content. Barry Diller’s IAC is spinning off its dating sites business Match, which will leave media properties as a bigger part of…

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A new pitch deck from IAC’s Dotdash shows how it plans to grow its media business after the Match spinoff
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  • Barry Diller’s IAC is spinning off its dating sites business Match, which will leave media properties as a bigger part of the remaining company.
  • Those include College Humor and Dotdash, a collection of 11 service-oriented sites like Verywell, The Balance, and Lifewire.
  • At a December 4 presentation to investors, Dotdash laid out its business case.
  • Dotdash has been on an acquisition spree lately.
  • Dotdash said it’s one of the fastest growing publishers online, with healthy profit margins, and is giving established brands a run for their money in certain categories, and diversifying beyond advertising.
  • Click here for more BI Prime stories.

Barry Diller’s IAC is spinning off its dating sites business Match, which will leave media properties as a bigger part of the remaining company.

Those include College Humor and Dotdash, a collection of 11 service-oriented sites like Verywell, The Balance, and Lifewire.

At a December 4 presentation to investors, Dotdash CEO Neil Vogel laid out the business case for his company, which has been on an acquisition spree lately, buying niche sites including Brides and Liquor.com.

Dotdash said it’s one of the fastest growing publishers online, with healthy profit margins, and is giving established brands a run for their money in certain categories like health, finance, and home.

It’s laid the groundwork to expand into the lucrative beauty advertising category and take on Condé Nast and Hearst, with the acquisitions of Byrdie, Brides, and MyDomaine.

The bulk of its revenue comes from advertising, but commerce is a growing part of the mix, accounting for about one fourth of revenue.

Scroll down to see how Dotdash is positioning itself to advertisers and investors:

While other digital publishers consolidate, Dotdash says it’s growing rapidly, profitably.

Dotdash1


IAC


Dotdash’s sweet spot is news and information people need.

Dotdash


IAC


Its brands span categories that are advertiser-friendly: health, finance, beauty, and lifestyle.

Dotdash4


IAC


Dotdash focuses on service and information that people search for on Google.

Dotdash44


IAC


This graph shows how Dotdash says it’s challenging established brands in categories like health, finance, and food.

Dotdash


IAC


Dotdash’s content strategy relies on 125 editorial staffers and more than 1,500 freelancers who update articles as often as weekly.

Dotdash


IAC


Dotdash sites have a stripped-down look with minimal ads.

Dotdash


IAC


Dotdash’s sites have grown their audience dramatically since it relaunched or acquired them.

Dotdash


IAC


Dotdash says advertising is growing at an annual CAGR of 19%.

Dotdash


IAC


Dotdash is diversifying its revenue mix, with commerce becoming about one fourth of revenue.

Dotdash


IAC


Dotdash calls itself an attractive platform for advertisers with the ability to add new revenue streams.

Dotdash


IAC


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The federal agency that sued Elon Musk for fraud questioned Tesla’s accounting this year

Ringo H.W. Chiu/Associated PressFinancial regulators questioned several aspects of Tesla’s accounting this year. The Securities and Exchange Commission wrote to Tesla’s finance chief seeking more information about its finances and accounting policies, and queried the company’s legal team over its withholding of information for competitive reasons. The SEC closed its review in late October, and…

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The federal agency that sued Elon Musk for fraud questioned Tesla’s accounting this year

elon muskRingo H.W. Chiu/Associated Press

  • Financial regulators questioned several aspects of Tesla’s accounting this year.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission wrote to Tesla’s finance chief seeking more information about its finances and accounting policies, and queried the company’s legal team over its withholding of information for competitive reasons.
  • The SEC closed its review in late October, and agreed Tesla could keep certain information redacted until 2020.
  • The agency sued Tesla CEO Elon Musk for fraud last year after he tweeted about taking Tesla private and said he had secured funding and support from investors.
  • The lawsuit resulted in a $40 million fine, Musk stepping down as chairman, and board changes.
  • View Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Financial regulators, after butting heads with Tesla CEO Elon Musk over his tweeting, questioned several aspects of his electric-car company’s accounting this year.

The Securities and Exchange Commission queried Tesla’s last annual report and its latest second-quarter report in a letter to Tesla’s finance chief, Zachary Kirkhorn, on September 17, according to filings it shared this week.

The agency requested further explanation for changes in Tesla’s accounts, sales by acquired companies to third parties, and its exclusion of some costs from its warranty reserve. The agency also asked for more details of Tesla’s accounting of leased automobiles this year, following the release of new guidelines on their treatment.

Kirkhorn responded that the changes to Tesla’s accounts — including a big jump in its production costs — were largely driven by scaled-up manufacturing of the Model 3. He added that some of the companies it acquired were still contracted to sell goods to third parties. He broadly defended Tesla’s accounting of warranty reserves and lease accounting as kosher.

The SEC, seemingly satisfied with his reply, closed its review on October 28.

The agency also wrote to Tesla’s legal team on September 17, seeking unredacted copies of some financial information to assess whether the company was within its rights to withhold it from SEC filings for competitive reasons. In a follow-up letter on September 25, it agreed certain information from Tesla’s filings in 2017 and 2018 could be redacted until September 2020.

The correspondence suggests Tesla remains firmly on the SEC’s radar.

The agency sued Musk for fraud in the fall of 2018 after he tweeted that he was thinking about taking Tesla private at $420 a share and had “funding secured,” then added “investor support is confirmed.”

The lawsuit resulted in a $40 million fine shared between Musk and his company, Musk stepping down as Tesla’s chairman, and the company bolstering its board with new, independent directors.

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Here are the 23 companies that have hired most of Chicago Booth’s class of 2019

BI Prime This story requires our BI Prime membership. To read the full article, simply click here to claim your deal and get access to all exclusive Business Insider PRIME content. The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business offers the third-best MBA education in the country, according to U.S. News. Booth’s latest graduating class is…

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Here are the 23 companies that have hired most of Chicago Booth’s class of 2019
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Even though fewer students are applying for US MBA programs, demand for graduates is as high as ever. Just look at where the majority of MBA students from the third best business school in the country, the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, ended up after graduation.

Booth released data this week on the 23 employers that hired over half of the class of 2019. These employers reflect the three industries that drew most grads: consulting, finance, and technology. Perhaps unsurprisingly, these are quite lucrative industries, with the highest reported median salaries. You can read a report on the salary breakdown for the graduating class by industry here

These are the companies that hired at least four graduates each from Booth’s latest class, listed in order of least to most graduates hired. 

23. Walmart Stores Inc.

FILE PHOTO: Walmart's logo is seen outside one of the stores in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., November 20, 2018. REUTERS/Kamil Krzaczynski/File Photo


Reuters


Number of Hires: 4

Percent of Hires: 0.8%

22. The Vanguard Group, Inc.

Vanguard building




Glassdoor



Number of Hires: 4

Percent of Hires: 0.8%

21. Accenture

Visitors look at devices at Accenture stand at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 26, 2013.    REUTERS/Albert Gea/File Photo


Reuters


Number of Hires: 4

Percent of Hires: 0.8%

20. Moelis & Company LLC

Moelis and Company


Google Earth


Number of Hires: 4

Percent of Hires: 0.8%

19. Ernst & Young LLP

Ernst & Young




Glassdoor



Number of Hires: 4

Percent of Hires: 0.8%

18. The Kraft Heinz Company

kraft heinz


Jason Kempin/Getty Images


Number of Hires: 4

Percent of Hires: 0.8%

17. William Blair

William Blair and Company


Google Earth


Number of Hires: 4

Percent of Hires: 0.8%

15. Evercore Partners Inc.

Evercore Partners


Google Earth


Number of Hires: 6

Percent of Hires: 1.2%

14. A.T. Kearney, Inc.

AT Kearney




ATKearney



Number of Hires: 6

Percent of Hires: 1.2%

13. Bank of America Merrill Lynch

merrill lynch office


Daniel Barry / Stringer / Getty Images


Number of Hires: 6

Percent of Hires: 1.2%

12. Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley


Spencer Platt/Getty Images


Number of Hires: 6

Percent of Hires: 1.2%

11. Microsoft Corporation

FILE PHOTO: The Microsoft sign is shown on top of the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, California, U.S. October 19,2018.  REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo


Reuters


Number of Hires: 6

Percent of Hires: 1.2%

10. Citigroup, Inc.

The Citigroup Inc (Citi) logo is seen at the SIBOS banking and financial conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada October 19, 2017. Picture taken October 19, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren


Reuters


Number of Hires: 7

Percent of Hires: 1.4%

8. Credit Suisse

Credit Suisse


REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo


Number of Hires: 8

Percent of Hires: 1.7%

7. PwC Strategy&

PwC


Reuters/Danish Siddiqui


Number of Hires: 9

Percent of Hires: 1.9%

6. JPMorgan Chase & Co.

JPMorgan Chase


Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


Number of Hires: 11

Percent of Hires: 2.3%

5. Google LLC

google office


Scott Brownrigg


Number of Hires: 14

Percent of Hires: 2.9%

2. The Boston Consulting Group

BCG Hudson Yards 6903


Sarah Jacobs


Number of Hires: 35

Percent of Hires: 7.2%

1. McKinsey & Company, Inc.

McKinsey & Company logo


Thompson Reuters


Number of Hires: 48

Percent of Hires: 9.9%

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