The White House is trying to extinguish flames coming from Wednesday morning's impeachment inquiry testimony by United States Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland by repeating what Sondland himself said under oath.
Sondland told the House Intelligence Committee that he believes President Donald Trump ordered his lawyer Rudy Giuliani to tell Sondland and others that both a meeting between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and U.S. aid being released to Ukraine were contingent on Zelenskiy announcing an investigation into corruption that included former Vice President Joe Biden earlier this year.
A short time later, however, the White House issued a statement that tried to squash Sondland's claim.
"Ambassador Sondland previously testified that the president told him directly that he was not interested in a quid pro quo," the statement reads, according to the New York Post. "He testified that President Trump repeatedly made it clear he wanted no quid pro quo."
Sondland's no quid pro quo claim came in the form of a text message to Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor after he spoke with Trump on the phone about the matter.
In his opening statement to the committee Wednesday, Sondland said, "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."
In early October, Trump wrote on Twitter that he "would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify, but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republican's rights have been taken away, and true facts are not allowed out for the public … to see. Importantly, Ambassador Sondland's tweet, which few report, stated, 'I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The President has been crystal clear: no quid pro quo’s of any kind.' That says it ALL!"
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