Donald Trump points at an audience member.

When Donald Trump saw a CNN report about a United States Navy mission in the Black Sea earlier this year, he phoned then-National Security Advisor John Bolton at home to complain. Trump was worried that the routine mission could be seen as a “challenge to Russia,” according to testimony by a former top aide the U.S. envoy to Ukraine Christopher Anderson. His testimony was released Monday by the congressional impeachment inquiry, and is available online via Document Cloud.


The January mission, known as a Freedom of Navigation Operation, was then called off, according to Anderson’s testimony. But a similar FONOP took place in February, without any objection from Trump, Anderson said, noting that the CNN report of the initial operation was framed incorrectly “as if this were a direct response to Russia and that it was a challenge to Russia.”

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