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White House Responds to Sondland's Testimony

US ambassador to the EU testifies
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2019 8:27 AM CST
Updated Nov 20, 2019 3:41 PM CST
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U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland arrives to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political...   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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(Newser) – Ken Starr called Wednesday "one of those bombshell days" after hearing US Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland's testimony as part of the House impeachment inquiry. President Trump had a different take: "It's all over." Politico reports that in comments to reporters, Trump had this to say of Sondland: "I have not spoken to him much. This is not a man I know well. He seems like a nice guy, though." But as for Sondland's recollection of a September phone call in which Trump explicitly said "I want no quid pro quo," the president said this: "That means it’s all over. This is the final word from the president of the United States. I want nothing." You can read Sondland's opening remarks in full here. Highlights:

  • On quid pro quo: In what the Guardian describes as Sondland "pointing a finger directly at Trump," he said this: "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?' As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes. Mr. Giuliani conveyed to Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker, and others that President Trump wanted a public statement from President Zelensky committing to investigations of Burisma and the 2016 election. Mr. Giuliani expressed those requests directly to the Ukrainians. Mr. Giuliani also expressed those requests directly to us. We all understood that these prerequisites for the White House call and White House meeting reflected President Trump's desires and requirements."

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