Trump, citing portion of Sondland’s testimony, claims exoneration

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WASHINGTON (Information) – President Donald Trump, citing a portion of U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland’s congressional testimony in a Home impeachment inquiry on Wednesday, mentioned it confirmed he needed no “quid professional quo” with regard to Ukraine.

U.S. President Donald Trump holds what seems to be a ready assertion and handwritten notes after watching testimony by U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland as he speaks to reporters whereas departing for journey to Austin, Texas from the South Garden of the White Home in Washington, U.S., November 20, 2019. Information/Erin Scott

Chatting with reporters on the White Home, Trump cited feedback by Sondland a couple of dialog with the president, wherein he mentioned Trump informed him he needed nothing from Ukraine.

“I mentioned to the ambassador in response, I would like nothing. I would like nothing. I would like no quid professional quo. Inform Zelenskiy, President Zelenskiy to do the fitting factor,” Trump mentioned, citing the testimony and referring to Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

Whereas Trump’s characterization of the testimony was correct, it was incomplete.

He didn’t point out that Sondland additionally mentioned throughout the identical alternate that he relayed the president’s remarks to a different diplomat involved in regards to the stress being utilized merely to sign he had taken the difficulty so far as he might.

“My motive for telling him this was to not defend what the president was saying, to not opine on whether or not the president was being truthful or untruthful, however merely to relay ‘I’ve gone so far as I can go,’” Sondland mentioned.

However, Trump declared vindication.

“I might say meaning it’s throughout,” Trump mentioned of the impeachment investigation.

In his testimony, Sondland informed lawmakers there was a quid professional quo, wherein a desired assembly with Trump was being withheld to attempt to push Zelenskiy to launch investigations that Trump needed.

Sondland mentioned he was following Trump’s path in serving to to stress Ukraine into investigating a political rival of the president, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Home Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff mentioned the testimony went “to the center of the difficulty of bribery in addition to different potential excessive crimes and misdemeanors” that Democrats are contemplating.

The president sought to downplay his relationship with Sondland whereas additionally giving him gentle reward.

“I don’t know him very nicely. I haven’t spoken to him very a lot,” the president mentioned. “Looks as if a pleasant man although.”

Reporting by Jeff Mason and Tim Ahmann; Modifying by Bernadette Baum