President Donald Trump responded to U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland’s testimony on Wednesday, suggesting it means the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry should end.
“I just noticed one thing, and I would say that means it’s all over,” Trump told reporters at the White House before traveling to Texas.
“‘What do you want from Ukraine?’ he asks me. … ‘I keep hearing all these different ideas and theories.’ This is Ambassador Sondland speaking to me,” the president explained as he read from notes he was holding.
“Here’s my response that he just gave, ready? ‘I want nothing. That’s what I want from Ukraine.’ That’s what I said,” Trump said.
The president further quoted Sondland’s account of what he said to the ambassador on the call, “I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelensky to do the right thing.”
“This is the final word from the president of the United States,” Trump added, citing Sondland.
During his testimony Wednesday, Sondland said Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, was seeking a quid pro quo from the Ukrainians of an announcement of corruption investigations in exchange for a White House visit for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Fox News reported.
“I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a quid pro quo?” Sondland said. “As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes.”
The ambassador also testified, “I never heard from President Trump that aid was conditioned on an announcement” of investigations.
He stated multiple times that Trump never told him he had set preconditions for a White House visit or for military aid from the U.S.
As the president told reporters, Sondland testified Trump said, “I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelensky to do the right thing.”
“Something to that effect,” Sondland recounted.
Gordon Sondland was clear: “I’ve never heard from President Trump that the aid (to Ukraine) was conditioned on the investigations.”
So what did @realDonaldTrump say when Sondland DID talk to him?
Sondland, quoting POTUS: “I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo.” pic.twitter.com/ZuaCybXJj1
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) November 20, 2019
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff told reporters during a break in the hearing that Sondland’s testimony proved the release of nearly $400 million in military aid “was conditioned on political favors the president wanted for his re-election.”
Rep. Adam Schiff: “We now can see, the veneer has been torn away, just why Secretary Pompeo and President Donald Trump do not want any of these documents provided to Congress.” #SondlandTestimony pic.twitter.com/qCJrkBPk3v
— The Hill (@thehill) November 20, 2019
Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy saw the exact opposite to be true, tweeting, “Case closed.”
Case closed ⇨ Ambassador Sondland just testified under oath that he NEVER heard the president say there were conditions on aid to Ukraine.
Democrats’ smear campaign is falling apart.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) November 20, 2019
He added, “Democrats’ smear campaign is falling apart.”
Trump released the military aid to Ukraine on Sept. 11, and no public statement was made by Ukraine regarding opening investigations into corruption.
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