Recording appears to capture Trump saying he wants Ukraine ambassador fired

The recording appears to contradict statements by the president and supports the narrative recently offered by Lev Parnas.
3:24 | 01/25/20

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Transcript for Recording appears to capture Trump saying he wants Ukraine ambassador fired
Let's get straight to our top story. You're looking live right now at the U.S. Capitol where today the president's legal team will be making their case in the senate impeachment trial. Overnight the house managers finished their opening arguments making the case president trump abused his office and tried to cover it up. Also overnight ABC news obtaining a recording that appears to be a conversation including president trump and lev parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani the president has repeatedly denied knowing. ABC's David Wright is in Washington with this story. David, good morning. Reporter: Good morning, Eva. As his lawyers begin to mount their defense today, the president and his allies are also pushing back on new information that would seem to undermine the president's statements about one of Giuliani's indicted associates. That new information from a recording obtained by ABC news. The biggest problem there, I think where we need to start is we gotta get rid of the ambassador. Reporter: ABC news obtained this audiotape of what sources say was an April 2018 meeting in the trump international hotel in Washington. On the recording Rudy Giuliani associate lev parnas appears to be telling the president that the U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine has been bad-mouthing him. Yeah, she's basically walking around telling everybody, wait, he's gonna get impeached, just wait. Get rid of her. Get her out tomorrow. I don't care. Get out tomorrow. Take her out, okay. Do it. Reporter: Trump repeatedly says he doesn't know parnas. If they did meet, it was only in I don't know him. Perhaps he's a fine man. Perhaps he's not. I know nothing about him. I don't know him. I don't believe I've ever spoken to him. Were you relying on lev parnas to get rid of your ambassador? No, but I have a lot of people. He is somebody I guess based on pictures I see goes to fund-raisers but I am not a fan of that ambassador. Reporter: Speaking to fox News the president readily admitted he did want ambassador Marie yovanovitch Were you telling parnas to get rid of her? You have a state department. I wouldn't have been saying that. I probably would have said if Rudy was there or somebody. I make no bones out of it. I have every right. I want ambassadors chosen by me. I have a right to hire and fire ambassadors. Reporter: Ambassador yovanovitch features prominently in the Democrats' case against the president. She took issue with Rudy Giuliani's effort to push Ukraine to dig up dirt on the Bidens. Democrats say that's why trump abruptly ordered her recall. How did that make you feel? Terrible, honestly. I mean, after 33 years of service to our country, it was terrible. It's not the way I wanted my career to end. Reporter: But the president and his allies insist he was within his rights to do so. An ambassador serves at the pleasure of the president. You know who said that, the ambassador herself. Reporter: Democrats say yovanovitch didn't deserve to be fired. This is the kind of despicable conduct that the president engages in. The despicable kind of conduct. Reporter: Important to underscore here, the recording is not in itself proof of anything illegal but it does strengthen the Democrats' case that the president may have been directly involved in his Ukraine effort. It also suggests there may well be other information out there relevant to the impeachment that we haven't yet heard. Whit? All right, David Wright for us, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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