Connect with us

My Wordpress

Trump Diplomat Gordon Sondland: Oh, THAT Pro Quo, Yeah, Now I Remember


Trump Diplomat Gordon Sondland: Oh, THAT Pro Quo, Yeah, Now I Remember

Trump Diplomat Gordon Sondland: Oh, THAT Pro Quo, Yeah, Now I Remember

Ad will collapse in

Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP/Shutterstock

Gordon Sondland, the European Union ambassador who had been pressed into service as President Trump’s Ukraine hatchet man on account of his political pliability, testified earlier this month that while he knew President Trump was withholding a meeting with Ukraine’s president as leverage for investigations of Trump’s domestic rivals, he did not know military aid to Ukraine was also held up. But then acting ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor testified that Sondland repeatedly told him that both the meeting and the aid were contingent on the investigations.

So this week Sondland returned to the House and “refreshed my recollection,” as he put it. Or, as Lieutenant Gerard would put it, he changed his bullshit story.

Sondland now confirms that the aid was being withheld as part of Trump’s extortion. Sondland now recalls having said exactly this on September 1 to a top adviser to Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. This, by the way, blows up a favorite talking point in the conservative media: that there couldn’t have been a quid pro quo because, as Ben Shapiro put it, “Ukrainians didn’t even know military aid was being withheld.” The New York Times already reported weeks ago that the Ukrainians knew, but now it has been confirmed not only by the lying Fake News but by a Trump loyalist.

Recall that at the outset of this scandal, Republicans indignantly denied that Trump had conditioned any favors on Ukraine investigating his domestic opponents. “If you’re looking for a circumstance where the president of the United States was threatening the Ukraine with cutting off aid unless they investigated his political opponent, you’d be very disappointed,” insisted Senator Lindsey Graham on September 25. “That does not exist.”

In the ensuing weeks, a procession of documents and testimony have dismantled that defense piece by piece. There is no longer even the barest possible basis to dispute the factual case being made by House impeachment investigators. Both the U.S. government and Ukraine both understood an explicit quid pro quo.

Trump’s defenders have been slowly retreating from their defensive positions. Graham told CBS that he refuses to read or learn any facts that contradict his original denial. “I’ve written the whole process off … I think this is a bunch of BS.” Don’t expect any embarrassment at having lied for Trump for weeks, or anger at Trump for having gotten them to lie on his account.

Gordon Sondland: Oh, THAT Pro Quo, Yeah, Now I Remember

Promoted links by Taboola

11/5/2019elections of 2019

elections of 2019
Democrats Win in Kentucky and Virginia, and More Results From the 2019 Election
By Matt Stieb

Dems won the governor’s race in Kentucky and a trifecta in Virginia, while the Mississippi GOP cemented its power and NYC passed ranked choice voting.

11/5/2019elections of 2019

elections of 2019
Beshear Beats Trump-Loving Bevin in Kentucky
By Ed Kilgore

Partisanship couldn’t pull an unpopular incumbent across the line in the governor’s race, a possible omen for both Trump and Mitch McConnell in 2020.

11/5/2019medicare for all

medicare for all
Elizabeth Warren Sees Health Care As a Civil-Rights Struggle. That Bothers Some.
By Zak Cheney-Rice

Some have taken issue with her comparison of today’s fight for universal health care to past civil-rights struggles.

Lindsey Graham Won’t Read Impeachment Hearing Transcripts: ‘This Is All B.S.’
By Ed Kilgore

What you refuse to learn can’t hurt you.

How Can Democrats Win Back Rural America?
By Sarah Jones

Candidates and organizers are struggling to make up for years of party neglect.

11/5/2019the national interest

the national interest
Trump Diplomat Gordon Sondland: Oh, THAT Pro Quo, Yeah, Now I Remember
By Jonathan Chait

The president’s extortion hatchet man “refreshes” his memory, implicates Trump.


The emerging line of hardcore loyalists: Nothing matters

Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, says he won’t read any of the transcripts, and dismissed Sondland’s reversal. “I’ve written the whole process off … I think this is a bunch of B.S.” Per @alanhe

the zucc
What Does Facebook Know That We Don’t?
By Brian Feldman

Facebook is, for some reason, making its name more prominent in its other apps.


Gordon Sondland: Actually, there was a quid pro quo after all
A critical witness in the impeachment inquiry offered Congress substantial new testimony this week, revealing that he told a top Ukrainian official that the country likely would not receive American military aid unless it publicly committed to investigations President Trump wanted.The disclosure from Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, in four new pages of sworn testimony released on Tuesday, confirmed his involvement in laying out a quid pro quo to Ukraine that he had previously not acknowledged. The issue is at the heart of the impeachment investigation into Mr. Trump, which turns on the allegation the president abused his power to extract political favors from a foreign power.Mr. Trump has consistently maintained that he did nothing wrong and that there was no quid pro quo with Ukraine.

vision 2020
Good Pollsters Don’t Always Agree
By Ed Kilgore

Nate Silver’s pollster ratings equally praise two outlets producing what sure look like wildly varying takes on how 2020 is shaping up.

Americans Far More Polarized on Impeachment Than in the Past
By Ed Kilgore

Real Life. Real News. Real Voices

Help us tell more of the stories that matter

Become a founding member

Don’t count on rank-and-file Republicans to abandon Trump the way many abandoned Nixon.

What Will Become of Deadspin’s Corpse?
By Will Leitch

The founder of the dearly departed website sees a few possibilities.

Foie Gras May Be Cruel. It’s Definitely Irrelevant.
By Adam Platt

A restaurant critic on the waning days of a luxury ingredient.


11/5/2019the national interest

the national interest
No, Trump’s Foreign Policy Staff Doesn’t Have to Just Follow Orders
By Jonathan Chait

Trump’s new defense: “The president is the constitutional author of foreign policy.”


The reality TV president is rooting for his reality TV press secretary

Vote for Sean Spicer on Dancing with the Stars. He is a great and very loyal guy who is working very hard! #MAGA

ukraine scandal
House Democrats Could Soon Learn Inner Workings of Giuliani’s Ukraine Operation
By Matt Stieb

Giuliani’s fixer will cooperate with House Democrats, potentially providing the impeachment inquiry with a view into Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine.

tears for fears
Sad Billionaire Cries Because He Feels So Misunderstood
By Sarah Jones

Why is everyone being so mean to Leon Cooperman?

Richard Spencer Broke His Contract With America
By Zak Cheney-Rice

He agreed to shroud his white nationalism in nice clothes and respectability. He seems to have inadvertently let the mask drop.

11/4/2019intelligencer chats

intelligencer chats
Where Did Beto Go Wrong?
By Jonathan Chait, Benjamin Hart, and Margaret Hartmann

Intelligencer staffers discuss what derailed the Texan’s once-promising campaign.

Tomorrow, America Could Get a Tiny Bit Closer to Universal Health Care
By Eric Levitz

Medicare for All isn’t on the ballot just yet. But in Virginia, Kentucky, and Mississippi, voters have a chance to secure “Medicaid for more.”


The withdrawal won’t be official unless Trump wins next year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Trump administration has notified #UN that it has started process of withdrawing #US from #Paris climate agreement.

Why the Democrats Will Debate at Atlanta’s Tyler Perry Studios This Month
By Ed Kilgore

The debate sponsors passed up a suburban venue for the actor and mogul’s new facility.

vision 2020
Should Democrats Panic About Elizabeth Warren’s Chances Against Trump?
By Ed Kilgore

A new batch of polls has the candidate faring poorly against Trump in some battleground states.


Unsettling news

Breaking: Federal authorities arrested a 27-year-old accused white supremacist who had planned to bomb a synagogue in Colorado over the weekend.

e. jean carroll
Writer E. Jean Carroll Sues Donald Trump for Defamation
By Sarah Jones

After Carroll accused Trump of sexual assault in her latest book, the president called her a liar, which she says damaged her reputation and career.

Subscribe to the newsletter news

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top Stories

To Top