U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Gordon Sondland reportedly plans to testify that President Donald Trump ordered him to send the infamous text denying that there was any quid pro quo between Trump and the Ukrainian government over military aid.
The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday night that Sondland will distance himself from Trump’s claims that there was no quid pro quo when he withheld congressionally approved military aid from Ukraine while pushing the Ukrainian president to dig up dirt on 2020 candidate Joe Biden.
An unnamed source told the Post that the ambassador will tell the House Intelligence Committee and the other committees involved in the impeachment inquiry on Thursday that he isn’t sure if his text telling U.S. Charges D’affaires for Ukraine Bill Taylor that there was no quid pro quo was truthful.
Sondland will reportedly testify that he “believed Trump at the time and on that basis passed along assurances.”
“It’s only true that the President said it, not that it was the truth,” the source said.
In the texts released by Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA), Sondland told Taylor that the latter was “incorrect” about Trump’s intentions when Taylor noted that the aid and Trump’s meeting with the Ukrainian president were being delayed over whether Ukraine would investigate Biden.
“The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s (sic) of any kind,” Sondland told Taylor. “The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign.”
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