CNN correspondent Dana Bash said President Donald Trump's Friday tweets criticizing former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch were worse than McCarthyism, adding at least there was an ideological point to the latter.
"I was just going to add to what [historian Tim Naftali] was saying," Bash said. "You talked about this being like McCarthyism. It's almost worse, in that [Joseph] McCarthy used horrible tactics, but he had a very clear ideology, a policy goal which is to get rid of Communism."
"Here, there's no policy goal. It's a political goal," Bash added. "It's the president of the United States trying to further his political future, full stop."
"McCarthyism" has become a term for reckless smearing of political opponents without evidence, named for the Wisconsin senator who was censured in 1954 for his relentless charges that Soviet and communist spies had infiltrated various American institutions.
Trump upended Friday's round of impeachment hearings when, during Yovanovitch's testimony, he tweeted that in her role as an ambassador, "everywhere she went turned bad."
House Intelligence Committee chair Adam Schiff (D., Calif.) called the tweet "witness intimidation" in real time, and Yovanovitch said it was "very intimidating."
Yovanovitch testified that she was devastated by Trump's critical words about her to Ukrainian president Volodomyr Zelensky, and that the State Department was not doing enough to support its diplomats.