tv Afternoon Live BBC News November 20, 2019 2:00pm-5:01pm GMT
hello, you're watching afternoon live, i'm simon mccoy. today at 2pm: setting out their election manifesto, the liberal democrats promise they'll be able to invest billions of pounds in public services by giving a clear choice over brexit. we wa nt we want to stop brexit and build a brighterfuture, we want to stop brexit and build a brighter future, and that people have the opportunity to choose that. there is many seats across the country where liberal democrats are now in contention. a spin too far — as the row grows over the conservatives‘ bogus fact—checking twitter account — the party is accused of abusing public trust. a letter written by buckingham palace in 2011 casts doubt on prince andrew's account of when he first met the sex offenderjeffrey epstein. coming up on afternoon live, all the sport with holly hamilton. he's the self—proclaimed special one, and he's back in the premier league. i'll be bringing more reaction
tojose mourinho being named the new boss at tottenham, and we're asking where it went wrong for pochettino. thanks, holly, and sarah keith—lucas has the weather. it is mostly dry but fairly cloudy this afternoon, some right then a forecast, particularly to end the week and into the weekend, but pretty quiet and dry for most away from the south—west over the next couple of days. i will bring you all the details in about half an hour. thanks, sarah. also coming up — the koala rescued from the bushfires in australia — the woman seen on video taking off her shirt and charging into the flames to save the injured animal. hello, everyone — this is afternoon live. the liberal democrats have set out their general election
manifesto, reiterating their pledge to stop brexit. the party claims by doing so it will be able to invest billions of pounds in public services, and tackling inequality. the manifesto also includes a pledge to tackle climate change by generating more electricity through renewable energy. our political correspondent chris mason reports. debt for hundreds of thousand of judas thanks to your party! election campaigns are noisy, critics of the liberal democrats like to remind them of their time in government. supporters like to drown out the critics. jo swinson went to school in cambridge this morning. this is nonfiction. also published today, her party's nonfiction. also published today, her pa rty‘s pamphlet nonfiction. also published today, her party's pamphlet manifesto, 96 pages are pages but one topic dominates. liberal democrats will be fighting to stop brexit. that is our priority because we believe we are better in the european union, it is
better in the european union, it is better for our public services like the nhs, our environment and it is better for peoples jobs. the party's main pitches the council brexit. they point to economic forecasts suggesting remaining is betterfor the economy. they would have more money to spend. they also want 8% of oui’ money to spend. they also want 8% of our electricity generated by renewable sources within a decade, and our promising 20,000 extra teachers in england within five yea rs. teachers in england within five years. today we have set out the details of our plans on schools funding and making sure that there can be up to 20,000 new teachers employed in schools across the country. that is incredibly important for our children's education at a time when schools have really been struggling with funding. what else is in here? more stuff on schools in england, getting rid of 0fsted and replacing it with an alternative inspection is system.
replacing mandatory sets to saint league tables. but the big question for the party, given the noise of labour and the conservatives and the snp in scotland, is how much they can get noticed. the conservatives have been accused of misleading the public after they rebranded one of their official party accounts to make it look like a factchecking service, during last night's itv leaders' debate. the party temporarily changed the name of its campaign headquarters press office account to factcheckuk. twitter said if would take "decisive corrective action" if a similar stunt was attempted again. speaking on bbc breakfast this morning the foreign secretary, dominic raab, defended the move — he said that "no one gives a toss about the social media cut and thrust". critics of the move, though, say it's an abuse of public trust — just at the time that issue of trustis at the heart of this election campaign. this report from our political correspondentjessica parker. looking online, watch to take at face value? last night, a brief rebrand of a conservative party
twitter account, to factcheckuk as the press office shared its interpretation of the head—to—head debate. tonight, conservative prime minister boris johnson, and leader of the labour party, jeremy corbyn, debates... amidst an hour—long exchange, covering a range of issues... end privatisation within the nhs... applause what could be worse for the nhs then a crackpot plan for a four day week... jeremy corbyn was laughed at on brexit... we will abide by that result... and borisjohnson was laughed at on trust. does the truth matter in this election? i think it does, and... laughter. i think it very important... i have been very clear! if trust is an issue, was last night's twitter adjustment 0k? no one gives a toss about the social media cut and thrust, what they care about is the substantive issues and of course there is a huge amount
of scepticism about claims of politicians, what we are not going to do is have nonsense put around by labour. accusations of misinformation, online and out on the campaign trail, fly around in an election between the parties but today, in response to this row, the electoral commission said that voters are entitled to integrity and transparency, and last night, twitter warned that if something like this happened again, it would result in decisive action. the conservatives say it was still clear who was running the account, but one senior labour figure said that twitter should have taken it down, and there has been criticism elsewhere. to suggest that they were an independent fact—checker, and that, to me, was utterly outrageous, at a time when there was many questions about, "do you trust borisjohnson?" no knockout blows between these men last night but the episode has sparked controversy, even if it was for reasons that happened offstage rather than onstage.
0ur political correspondent chris mason is in westminsterfor us now. let's talk about this twitter row. is dominic rab right, people don't care? no, i don't think he is, not least because if that was the case, if that analysis from dominic raab was taken at face value, what would have been the justification for them doing what they did in the first place? clearly they thought it would provoke some sort of response. either by people falling for their rebrand assuming they were an impartialfact rebrand assuming they were an impartial fact checking service rather than a little party pushing a party line, or that it would generate the kind of hullabaloo that it has. that would serve their purposesin it has. that would serve their purposes in another way. part of that hullabaloo purposes in another way. part of that hulla baloo is purposes in another way. part of that hullabaloo is clearly part of their strategy, that by doing things that catch attention, draw attention and draw criticism, the broad thrust of the argument is articulated in the vapour trails of that bigger
picture, but there is the other question, trust. that is the big thing that matters because vast proportions of the electorate and not strolling through twitter obsessively as journalists and politicians might spend every waking hour doing. but they might be catching on a conversation now are other news coverage elsewhere, or coverage that it generates on facebook where a greater proportion of the electorate consume news. in that set set matter. it is worth emphasising that there is an outbreak of purity on any of the political sides. the labour party have had a twitter handle cold the insider, a broadly similarjob to what the conservatives were doing last night. it is worth putting that in context, it's more number of followers, it is not their main channel of your medication. they did not decide to rebranded right in the middle of a prime—time election debate. but as i say, you can scan
with the political landscape and there is not sudden outbreaks of purity as far as online conduct are concerned. in this e—mail with so much scepticism around fake news, disinformation and all the rest, it is quite something when the party of government decides to change its prince will twitter handle and claim to be something it bites everything —— quite self—evidently isn't. 0ver over to washington where gordon sondland is to give evidence. he is the diplomat who was earlier giving two different stories to the impeachment enquiry against president trump. today she will be asked which one of them is the right one. thosejoin the asked which one of them is the right one. those join the chairman. asked which one of them is the right one. thosejoin the chairman. —— letsjoin the one. thosejoin the chairman. —— lets join the chairman. and then two questions. we welcome the audience and respect your interest, in turn we asked for your respect as we
proceed with today's hearing. it is the intention of the committee to proceed without disruptions. i will make all necessary and appropriate steps to maintain order and ensure the community is run in accordance with house resolutions. with that i now recognise myself to give an opening statement in the impeachment enquiry into donald j opening statement in the impeachment enquiry into donaldj trump, the 14th president of the united states. this morning we will hear from gordon sondland, the american ambassador to the eu, we are here today as part of the house of representatives impeachment enquiry because president donald trump sought to condition military aid to ukraine in an 0val sought to condition military aid to ukraine in an oval office meeting with the new retraining president. in exchange for politically motivated investigators that trump believed would help his re—election campaign. the first investigation was of a discredited conspiracy theory that ukraine, not russia, was responsible for interfering in the 2016 election. this the second
investigation that trump demanded was into ape little rival that he a p pa re ntly was into ape little rival that he apparently feared most myjoe biden. —— a political rival. his own election and campaign he felt had been hacked —— held by russian hacking, a campaign directed by vladimir putin to help trump. tom's scheme undermined military and diplomatic support and undercut us anti—corruption diplomatic support and undercut us anti—corru ption efforts diplomatic support and undercut us anti—corruption efforts in ukraine. trump put his little interest above those of the united states. as ambassador gordon sondland would later tell david holmes are biglia after speaking to the president, trump did not give an explanation about ukraine. he cares about the stuff that benefits him like the biden investigations that were being pushed. gordon sondland was a skilled deal—maker button try to satisfy a directive from the
president found himself increasingly embroiled in an effort to press the ukrainian president that deviated sharply from the norm in both terms of policy and process. in february gordon sondland travelled to ukraine. while in kiev he met with the us ambassador and found her to be annexed diplomat with a deep command of ukrainian internal dynamics. 0n command of ukrainian internal dynamics. on april 21 still in ski was elected president of ukraine spoke to president trump who congratulated him and said he would look attending his negotiation placed to send someone at a high level. between the time of that call at the inaugural on may 20, tom's attitude towards ukraine hardened. in may 13 the president ordered the vice president not to attend the inauguration, opting instead to dispatch the self dubbed three amigos, energy secretary rick perry,
ambassador gordon sondland, and ambassador gordon sondland, and ambassador kurt volker, the special representative for ukraine negotiations. after returning from the inauguration, delegation members briefed the president on the interactions with the new ukrainian administration. they urged the president to meet with him but the present‘s reaction was decidedly hostile. the present‘s order was clear. talk with rudy. during this time, gordon sondland became aware of what the president was interested in. this whole thing was a continuum, he testified at his deposition, starting at the may 23 meeting, ending up at the end of the line when the transcript of the call came out. it was a continuum he would explain that became more insidious over time. the three amigos were disappointed with tom's directive to engage giuliani but
vowed to press ahead. gordon sondland testified, we could abandon the goal of the meeting, which the gi’oup the goal of the meeting, which the group deemed crucial for the goal of the meeting, which the group deemed crucialfor us ukrainian relations, or we could do as trump directed. talk to mr giuliani to address the present‘s concerns. we chose the latter. in the coming weeks, gordon sondland got more clearly involved in ukraine policy—making, starting with the june four us mission to the eu independent day in brussels one month early. secretary perry and the state department counsellor met with the ukrainian president who gordon sondland had invited personally on the emergence of the event. 0njune ten, 2019, secretary perry organised a conference call with gordon sondland then nationals adviserjohn bolton and others. they reviewed ukraine strategy and decided that the three amigos food assist the new
acting ambassador on ukraine and discussed trump a's desire for rudy giuliani to be somehow involved. id end of the call, they all felt co mforta ble end of the call, they all felt comfortable with the strategy moving forward. two weeks later onjune 27, gordon sondland called taylor to say that the ukrainian peasant needed to make clear to trump that he was not standing on the way of investigations. 0n standing on the way of investigations. on july ten, standing on the way of investigations. 0njuly ten, gordon sondland and other us officials met at the white house with a group of us and ukrainian officials. participants in the meeting have filters that gordon sondland evoked acting white house chief of staff and said that the white house meeting sought by the ukrainian president with pomp would happen only if ukraine undertook certain investigations. bolton abruptly ended the meeting upon hearing this. gordon sondland brought the delegation downstairs to another pa rt delegation downstairs to another part of the white house and was more explicit. according to witnesses,
ukraine needed to investigate the biden is in the 2016 election interference if they wanted to get a meeting at all. following this meeting at all. following this meeting injuly, meeting at all. following this meeting in july, bilton meeting at all. following this meeting injuly, bilton said he would not be part of whatever drug deal gordon sondland and mulvaney we re deal gordon sondland and mulvaney were cooking up. gordon sondland continued to press for a meeting but he and others settle for phone calls. 0n he and others settle for phone calls. on july 21 he and others settle for phone calls. 0njuly 21 taylor he and others settle for phone calls. on july 21 taylor texted gordon sondland that the ukrainian president is sensitive to ukraine being taken seriously, not merely as an instrument of washington domestic real action politics. gordon sondland responded, absolutely. but we need to get the conversation started and the relationship built irrespective of the pretext. so that the ukrainian president and trump could meet and all of this will be fixed. 0n could meet and all of this will be fixed. on july 25, could meet and all of this will be fixed. 0njuly 25, the day of the trump to leslie cole, volker had lunch in kiev with aca to the ukrainian president at later texted the aid to say that he had heard
from the white house assuming the ukrainian president will investigate, get to the bottom of what happened in 2016, we will nail down a date for a visit to washington, good luck. gordon sondland spoke to president trump a few minutes before the call was placed but was not on the call. during that now infamous phone call, trump responded to ukrainian to express appreciation and requested to buy more anti—tank missiles by saying, i would like you to do us a favour. trump asked him to investigate the discredited 2016 conspiracy theory and even more ominously look into the bidens. neither had been part of the official preparatory material for the call but they were ill donald trump's personal interest how the interest of his election campaign. ukrainian president knew of both in advance in part because of ambassador broker and ambassador gordon sondland's efforts to make him aware of what the president was
demanding. around this time gordon sondland became aware of the suspension of assistance to ukraine which had been announced on a secure interagency video conference onjuly 18. telling us it was extremely odd that nobody involved in making and plummeting stock policy you why the aid had been put on hold. gordon sondland persisted aided in text m essa g es sondland persisted aided in text messages with the others and said that the gist of every call was what was going to go in the press statement. in august nine, gordon sondland stated, i think trump wants the deliverable, which was a deliverable public statement that president trump 22 c or hear before a white house meeting could happen. 0n a white house meeting could happen. on september one, gordon sondland participated in vice president p's meeting in warsaw, during which the ukrainian president raised the suspended assistance. following that
meeting gordon sondland approached senior officials to tell him that he believed what could help them move the aid was if the ukrainian prosecutor general would go to the microphone and announced he was opening the investigation. gordon sondland told taylor he had made a mistake by telling the ukrainians and 0val mistake by telling the ukrainians and oval office meeting was dependent on a public announcement of investigations, in fact everything. it was dependent on such an announcement including security assistance. but even the announcement by the prosecutor general would not satisfy the president. 0n general would not satisfy the president. on september seven, gordon sondland spoke to the present and told to morrison and bill taylor about the call shortly thereafter. the president say that although this was not a quid pro quo, if the ukrainian president did not leave things up in public we would be at a stalemate. moreover an announcement by deposit a general but not be enough, the ukrainian president must
personally announce that he would open the investigations. gordon sondland told taylor that president trump isa sondland told taylor that president trump is a businessman, when a businessman is about to sign a cheque to someone who owes him something, the business and ask that person to pay up before signing the cheque. the check referred to here was the us military assistance to ukraine, and ukraine had to pay up with investigations. throughout early september, they sought to close the deal on agreement that is loosely with an cars investigations. gordon sondland said, i think it is crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a little campaign. 16 days later the transcript of the july 20 put the call was made public at the american people learned the truth of how our president try to take advantage of a vulnerable ally. now it is up to congress as the people's representatives to determine what response is appropriate. if the
president abusing power and invites foreign interference, sought to condition, course or extort bribe and ally into conducting investigations to aid his election, in and did so by fold holding or withholding millions of dollars of aid, it is up to us to decide whether those acts are compatible with the office of the presidency. finally, i want to say a word about the president and secretary pompeo's obstruction of this investigation. we have not received a single document from the state department, and as ambassador gordon sondland's opening statement will make clear today, those documents bear directly on this investigation and this impeachment enquiry. i think we know now based on a sample of the documents attached to ambassador gordon sondland's statement, that
the knowledge of the scheme was far and wide, and included among others secretary of state pompeo as well as the vice president. we can see why secretary pompeo and president trump have made such a concerted and across—the—board effort to obstruct this investigation and this impeachment enquiry. and i willjust say this, they do so at their own peril. i remind the president that article three of the impeachment articles drafted against president nixon was his refusal to obey the subpoenas of congress. with that i recognise ranking member nunez for any remarks that he would wish to make. as we learned last night, story time last night, story time first thing this morning. ambassador gordon sondland, welcome. glad you are here. well, not glad, but
welcome to the fifth day of this circus. as i have noticed before, the democrats on this committee spent three years accusing president trump of being a russian agent. in march 2018, after a year—long investigation, intelligence committee republicans issued 1840 page report describing in detail how the russians meddled in the 2016 elections. and making specific recommendations to improve our election security. denouncing the report as a whitewash and accusing republicans of subverting the investigation, the democrats issued their own report. focusing on they are now debunked conspiracy theory that the trump campaign colluded with russia to hack the election. notably the democrats about at the time to present a further comprehensive report. after they finish their investigation into
trump's treasonous collusion with russia. for some, completely inexplicable reason after the implosion of their russia hoax, the democrats failed to issue that comprehensive report. still waiting. this episode shows how the democrats have exploited the intelligence committee for political purposes for three years. culminating in these impeachment hearings and their mania to attack the president. no conspiracy theory is too outlandish for the democrats. time and time again they floated the possibility of some far—fetched malfeasance by trump, declared the dye need to investigate it and then suddenly dropped the issue and moved on to their next as a nine theory. a sampling of their insinuations includes these. trump is a long—time russian agent, as described in these
dossier. the russians gave trump's access to e—mail stolen by the dnc at the hillary clinton campaign. the trump campaign based some of its activities on the stolen documents. trump received nefarious materials from the russians through a trump campaign aide. trump laundered russian money through real estate deals. trump was blackmailed by russia through his financial exposure with deutsche bank. trump had a diabolical plan to build a trump tower in moscow. trump changed the republican national committee platform to hurt ukraine and benefit russia. the russians laundered money to the nra for the trump campaign. trump's sono la lied about his russian contacts while obtaining his security clearance. it is a long list of charges, all force, and i could go on, but i was pay you for
these moments. clearly these ludicrous accusations do not reflect committee members who are honestly searching for the truth. they are the actions are partisan extremists. they hijacked the intelligence committee, transformed it into the impeachment committee, abandoned its core oversight functions and turned it into a beachhead for ousting an elected president from office. you have to keep that history in mind as you consider the democrats ultimate latest catalogue of supposed trump outrages. granted a friendly call with the ukrainian president would not seem to rise to the same level as being a russian agent, but the democrats were running out of time, if they waited any longer they impeachment circus would intervene with their own candidates' 2020 campaign. you have to give them points for creativity in selling the
absurdity as an impeachable offence. all this explains why the democrats have gathered zero republican support in the house of representatives for the impeachment crusade. in fact the vote we held was a bipartisan vote against this impeachment enquiry. speak up close it, the chairman, key figures behind this impeachment crusade all proclaim that impeachment is so damaging to the country that it can only proceed with bipartisan support. are those declarations suddenly no longer true? that impeachment becomes less divisive? of course not. they know exactly what kind of damage they are inflicting on this nation, but they are past the point of no return. after three years, preparation work, much of its beheaded by the democrats on this committee, using all the tools of congress to accuse,
investigate, indict and smear the president, they stare up a frenzy amongst the most fanatical supporters that they can no longer control. ambassador gordon sondland, you hear today to be smeared. but you hear today to be smeared. but you will make it through it. and i appreciate your service to this country and i am sorry that you have had to go through this. in closing, the democrats have zeroed in on an anonymous whistle— blower complaint that was cooked up in cooperation with the democrats on this very committee. they lied to the american people about that corporation and refused to let us question the whistle—blower to refused to let us question the whistle— blower to discover the truth. meanwhile the democrats lash out against anyone who questions or
casts doubt on this spectacle. when ukrainian president zielinski denies anything improper happened on the phone call, the democrats say he is a liar. when journalists phone call, the democrats say he is a liar. whenjournalists report or in the ukraine election meddling and hunter biden's position on the board, the democrats labelled them conspiracy theorists. when the democrats cannot get traction for the allegations of quid pro quo, they move the goalposts and accuse they move the goalposts and accuse the president of extortion then bribery and at last resort obstruction ofjustice. the american people sent us to washington to solve problems, not to wage scorched earth little warfare against the other party. this impeachment is not helping the american people, it is not a legitimate use of taxpayer dollars, and it is definitely not improving our national security.
finally, the democrats' fake outrage that president trump used his own channel to each with the ukraine, i remind my friends on the other side of the ir that our first president, george washington, directed his own diplomatic channel to secure a treaty with great britain. if my democratic colleagues were around in 1794, they would probably want to impeach him as well. mr chairman, this morning we have transmitted to you a letter exercising our right order hs 660 two subpoenaed document cited witnesses. we take this step because you have failed to allow fairness and objectivity in this enquiry, as such we need to subpoena hunter biden and the whistle—blower for closed—door depositions as well as relevant documents from the dnc,
hunter biden's firm, and the whistle—blower. hunter biden's firm, and the whistle— blower. in the hunter biden's firm, and the whistle—blower. in the interest of some basic level of fairness, we expect you to concur with the subpoenas. i will submit that letter for the record and you will back the balance of my time. we are joined this afternoon by ambassador gordon sondland, i'm sorry, this morning. yesterday was a long day. gordon sondland is the us representative to the european union with the rank of ambassador before joining the state department, he was the founder and ceo of providence hotels, inertial owner and operator of full—service hotels. he was also engaged in charitable enterprises. two final points before our witness is sworn. first witness depositions as part of this enquiry were unclassified in
nature. all open hearings will also be at the unclassified level. any information touching unclassified information touching unclassified information will be addressed separately. this will not tolerate any reprisal, threats of reprisal or attempt to retaliate against any us government official testifying before congress, including you are any of your colleagues. if you would please rice and rachel right hand i will begin by swearing you in. do you swear or affirm that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you god? let the record show the witness has answered in the affirmative. thank you and please be seated. your written statement will be made pa rt your written statement will be made part of the record. ambassador sondland, you are now recognised for your opening statement. thank you, mrchairman and thank your opening statement. thank you,
mr chairman and thank you, ranking member nunez. i appreciate the opportunity to speak again to the members of this committee. let me offer my thanks to the men and women offer my thanks to the men and women of the us department of state who have committed their professional lives to support the foreign policy work of the united states, in particular i want to thank my staff at the us mission of the european union. your integrity, dedication and hard work, often performed without public acclaim or recognition, serve as a shining example of true public service and i am personally grateful to work behind you each and every day. it is my honour to serve as the us ambassador to the european union. the us mission to the eu is a direct link between the united states and the european union and its members.
america's longest standing allies and one of the largest economic blocs in the world. every day, i work to support a strong, united and peaceful europe, strengthening our ties with europe serves both american and european goals is to we promote political stability and economic prosperity around the world. i expect that few americans have heard my name before these events so before i begin, my substantive testimony, let me share my personal background. my parents fled europe during the holocaust, escaping the atrocities of that time, they left germany for uruguay and then in1953 time, they left germany for uruguay and then in 1953 emigrated to seattle, washington, when i was born and raised. like so many immigrants, my family was eager for freedom and
hungry for opportunity. they raised my sister and me to be humble, hard—working and patriotic and i am forever grateful for the sacrifices they made on our behalf. public service has always been important to me. asa service has always been important to me. as a lifelong republican, i have contributed to initiatives of both republican and democratic administrations. in 2003, i served asa memberof administrations. in 2003, i served as a member of the transition team for oregon democratic governor ted. he also appointed me to serve on various state—wide boards. in 2007, president george w bush appointed me asa memberof president george w bush appointed me as a member of the commission and white house fellows. iworked as a member of the commission and white house fellows. i worked with president bush on charitable events for his foundation's military service initiative and i also worked briefly with former vice president joe biden's office in connection
with the vice president's nationwide and thai cancer initiative —— anti cancer. the highest honour in my public life came when president trump asked me to serve as the united states ambassador to the european union. it was on a voice to vote, bipartisan, and i assume the role in brussels onjuly nine, 2018. although today is my first public testimony on the ukraine matters, this is not my first time co—operating with this committee. as you know, i've already provided ten hours of deposition testimony and i did so despite directive from the white house and state department that refused to appear as many others have done. i agreed to testify because i respect the gravity of the moment and i believe
i have an obligation to account fully for my role in these events. but i also must acknowledge that this process has been challenging and in many respects less than fair. i have not had access to all of my phone records, state department e—mails and many, many other state department documents and i was told i could not work with my eu staff to pull together the relevant files and information. having access to the state department materials would have been very helpful to me in trying to reconstruct with whom i spoke and met and when and what was said. as ambassador, i have had hundreds of meetings and calls with individuals but i am not a note—taker or a memo writer, never have been. my job note—taker or a memo writer, never have been. myjob requires that i
speak with heads of state, senior government officials, members of the cabinet, the president, almost each and every day. talking with foreign leaders might be memorable to some people but this is myjob, i do it all the time. my lawyers and i have made multiple requests to the state department and white for these materials yet these materials were not provided to me and they have also refused to share these materials with this committee. these documents are not classified and, in fairness, should have been made available. in the absence of these materials, my memory admittedly has not been perfect and i have no doubt that a more fair, open and orderly process of allowing me to read the state department records and other materials which have made this
process far more transparent. i don't intend to repeat my prior opening statement or attempt to summarise ten hours of previous deposition testimony. however, a fuse critical points —— a few critical points have been obscured by noise over the last few weeks and i'm worried that the bigger picture is being ignored. so let me make a few key points. first, secretary perry, ambassador volker and i worked with mr giuliani on ukraine matters at the express direction of the president of the united states. we did not want to work with mr giuliani. simply put, we were playing the hand we were dealt. we all understood that if we refuse to work with mr giuliani, we would lose a very important opportunity to
cement relations between the united states and ukraine so we followed the president's orders. second, although we disagreed with the need to involve mr giuliani, at the time we did not believe that his role was improper. as i previously testified, ifi improper. as i previously testified, if i had known of all of mr giuliani's dealings or his associations with individuals, some of whom are now under criminal indictment, i personally would not have acquiesced to his participation. still, given what we knew at the time, what we were asked to do did not appear to be wrong. third, let me say precisely that we did not think we were engaging in improper behaviour, we made an
effort to ensure that the relevant decision makers at the national security council and the state department knew the important details of our efforts. the suggestion that we were engaged in some irregular or rogue diplomacy is absolutely false. i have now identified certain state department e—mails and messages that provide contemporaneous support for my view. these e—mails show that the leadership of the state department, the national security council and the national security council and the white house were all informed about the ukraine efforts from may 23, 2019 about the ukraine efforts from may 23,2019 until the about the ukraine efforts from may 23, 2019 until the security about the ukraine efforts from may 23,2019 until the security aid was released on september 11, 2019. i will quote from some of those messages with you shortly. fourth,
asi messages with you shortly. fourth, as i testified previously, mr giuliani's requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a white house visit for president zelensky. giuliani demanded a public statement about the investigation of the 2016 election server. mr giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the united states and we knew these investigations were important to the president. fifth, injuly and important to the president. fifth, in july and august of 2019, we learned that the white house had also suspended security aid to ukraine. iwas also suspended security aid to ukraine. i was adamantly opposed to every suspension of aid. i was adamantly opposed to any suspension
ofaid as adamantly opposed to any suspension of aid as the ukrainians needed those funds to fight against russian aggression. i tried diligently to ask why the aid was suspended but i never received a clear answer. still haven't to this day. in the absence of any credible explanation for the suspension of aid, i later came to believe that the resumption of security aid would not occur until there was a public statement from ukraine committing to the investigations of the 2016 elections as mr giuliani had demanded. i shared concerns of the potential quid pro quo regarding the security aid with senator ron johnson and i also shared my concerns with the ukrainians. . finally, at alltimes i was acting in good faith. i was
acting in good faith as a presidential appointee and i followed the directions of the president. we worked with mr giuliani because the president directed us to do so. we had no desire to set any conditions on the ukrainians. indeed, my own personal view which i shared repeatedly with others was that the white house and security assistance should have proceeded without preconditions of any kind we were working to overcome the problems given the fact as they existed. our only interest and my only interest was to advance long—standing us policy and to support ukraine's fragile democracy. now let me provide additional details specifically about ukraine
and my involvement. first, my very first days as ambassador to the eu, which was starting back in july of 2018, ukraine has featured prominently in my broader portfolio. ukraine's political and economic development are critical to the long—standing and long lasting stability of europe. moreover, the conflict in eastern ukraine and crimea remains one of the most significant security crisis, crises for europe and the united states. our efforts to counterbalance an aggressive russia depend in substantial part on a strong ukraine. on april21, substantial part on a strong ukraine. on april 21, 2019, substantial part on a strong ukraine. on april21, 2019, vladimir zelensky was elected president of ukraine ina zelensky was elected president of ukraine in a historic election. with
the express support of secretary pompeo, i attended the express support of secretary pompeo, iattended president zelensky's inauguration as part of the us delegation led by energy secretary rick perry. the us delegation also included senator johnson, ukraine special envoy volker, lieutenant colonel alex than men of the national security council. my attendance at president zelensky's inauguration was not my first involvement with ukraine. as i testified previously, just four days after assuming my post as ambassador injuly of 2018, after assuming my post as ambassador in july of 2018, i received after assuming my post as ambassador injuly of 2018, i received an official delegation from the government of then ukraine president. the meeting took place at the us mission in brussels and was prearranged by my career eu mission staff and i've had several meetings since then in brussels. later in
february of 2019, i worked well with us ambassador marie in making my first official visit to ukraine for aus first official visit to ukraine for a us navy visit to the strategic black sea port of odessa. the reason i raise these prior ukraine activities, the meetings in brussels, my visit to odessa, is to emphasise that ukraine has been a pa rt of emphasise that ukraine has been a part of my portfolio from my very first days as the us ambassador. any claim that i somehow muscled my way into the ukraine relationship was simply false. during the zelensky inauguration on may 20, the us delegation developed a very positive view of the ukraine government. we we re view of the ukraine government. we were impressed by president zelensky's desire to promote a stronger relationship with the
united states. we admired his commitment to reform and we were excited about the possibility of ukraine making the changes necessary to support greater western economic investment and we were excited that ukraine might, afteryears investment and we were excited that ukraine might, after years and years of lip service, finally get serious about addressing its own well— known corruption problems. without enthusiasm, we returned to the white house on may 23 to brief president trump. we advise the president of the strategic importance of ukraine and the value of strengthening the relationship with president zelensky. to support this reform, we asked the white house for two things. first, a working phone call between presidents trump and zelensky and second, a working oval office visit. in our view, both were
vital to cementing the us, ukraine relationship, demonstrating support for ukraine in the face of russian aggression and advancing broader us foreign policy interests. unfortunately, president trump was sceptical. he expressed concerns that the ukrainian government was not serious about reform and she even mentioned that ukraine tried to ta ke even mentioned that ukraine tried to take him down in the last election. in response to our persistent efforts in that meeting to change his views, president trump directed us to talk with rudy. we understood that "talk with rudy" meant talk with rudy giuliani, the president's personal lawyer. let me say again, we we re personal lawyer. let me say again, we were not happy with the president's directive to talk with rudy. we did not want to involve mr giuliani. i believe then as i do now
that the men and women of the state department, not the president's personal lawyer, should take personal lawyer, should take personal responsibility for ukraine matters. nonetheless, based on the president's direction, we were faced with a choice. we could abandon the effort to schedule the white house phone call and white house visit between presidents trump and zelensky, which was unquestionably in ourforeign zelensky, which was unquestionably in our foreign policy interest, or we could do as president trump directed and talk with rudy. we chose the latter course, not because we liked it, but because it was the only constructive path open to us. over the course of the next several months, secretary perry, ambassador volker and i were in communication with mr giuliani. secretary perry volunteered to make the initial
calls with mr giuliani, given their prior relationship. ambassador volker made several of the early calls and generally informed us of what was discussed. i first communicated with mr giuliani in early august, several months later. mr giuliani emphasised that the president wanted a public statement from president zelensky committing ukraine to look into the corruption issues. mr giuliani specifically mentioned the 2016 election including the dnc server and burisma as two topics of importance to the president. we kept the leadership of the state department and the nfc informed of our activities and that included communications with secretary of state pompeo, his counsellor will ulrich, lisa kenna
and doctor hill, mr morrison and the staff at the nfc. they knew what we we re staff at the nfc. they knew what we were doing and why. on staff at the nfc. they knew what we were doing and why. 0njuly ten 2019, senior ukrainian national security officials met with ambassador volker, ambassador bolton, doctor hill, secretary perry, myself and several others in washington, dc. during that meeting, we all discussed the importance of the two action items identified earlier. one, a working phone call, and two, a white house meeting between presidents trump and zelensky. from my perspective, the july ten meeting was a positive step towards accomplishing our shared goals. while i am now aware of
accounts of the meeting from doctor hilland accounts of the meeting from doctor hill and the lieutenant colonel, their recollections of those events simply don't square with my own or with those of ambassador volker or secretary perry. i recall mentioning the prerequisite of investigations before any white house call or meeting but i do not recall any yelling or screaming on abrupt termination as others have said. instead, after the meeting, ambassador bolton walked outside with our group ambassador bolton walked outside with ourgroup and ambassador bolton walked outside with our group and we all took some great pictures together outside on the white house lawn. more important, those recollections of protest do not square with the documentary record of our interaction with the nfc in the days and weeks that followed. we kept the nfc apprised of our efforts including specifically our efforts
to secure a public statement from the ukrainians that would satisfy president trump's concerns. for example, on july 13, three president trump's concerns. for example, onjuly13, three days after the july ten meeting, i e—mailed tim morrison. he had just taken e—mailed tim morrison. he had just ta ken over doctor e—mailed tim morrison. he had just taken over doctor hill's post as the nfc, eurasia director and taken over doctor hill's post as the nfc, eurasia directorand i met him that day for the first time. i wrote to mr morrison with these words. "the call between zelensky and the president of the united states should happen before seven, 21, which is the parliamentary elections in ukraine. sole purpose is for zelensky to give the president assurances of new sheriff in town, corruption ending, unbundling moving forward and, and i emphasise, any hampered investigations will be allowed to move forward
transparently. the goal is for the president of the united states to invite him to the oval. we strongly recommend." invite him to the oval. we strongly recommend. " mr morrison acknowledged and said thank you and specifically noted that he was tracking these issues. again, there was no secret regarding moving forward and the discussion of investigations. moreover, i have reviewed other departments, some of which are not in the public domain, detailing mr giuliani's efforts. for example, on july ten, the very same day that ambassador volker, secretary perry andl ambassador volker, secretary perry and i were meeting with ukraine officials in washington, ambassador taylor received a communication that mr giuliani was still talking with ukrainian prosecutor in whatsapp
messages with ambassador volker and i. messages with ambassador volker and i, ambassador taylor wrote to us as follows. "just had a meeting with." follows. "just had a meeting taylor said the ukrainians were very concerned with what the foreign minister had told them with regard to what rudy giuliani had told them, that the president meeting zelensky will not happen. volker responded, good grief, please tell the dean to let the official us government representatives speak for the us. the ukraine foreign minister has his own self interest here. taylor passed on that message to the ukrainians and added, i briefed ulrich this afternoon on this, referring to the state department counsellor. again, everyone is in
the loop. three things are critical about this whatsapp exchange. first, while the ukrainians were in washington at the white house, mr giuliani was communicating with the ukrainians without our knowledge. ambassador taylor, ambassador volker andl ambassador taylor, ambassador volker and i were all surprised by this. secondly, mr giuliani was communicating with the reportedly corrupt prosecutor and discussing whether a zelinsky — trump meeting was whether a zelinsky — trump meeting was going to happen again without our knowledge. third, with his news, ambassador taylor briefed the secretary of state to pompeo and even as late as september 24 of this year, secretary pompeo was directing volker to speak with mr giuliani in a whatsapp message, volker told me
in part, spoke with rudy as per guidance from the designator for the secretary. "spoke with rudy from guidance. we tried our best to fix the problem while keeping the state department and the nfc closely apprised of the challenges we face. on apprised of the challenges we face. 0njuly 25, apprised of the challenges we face. on july 25, president trump and zelinsky had their official call. i was zelinsky had their official call. i was not on the call and i don't think i was invited to be on the call. in fact, i first read the transcript on september 25, the date was transcript on september 25, the date was publicly released. all i had heard at that time was that the call had gone well. looking back, i find it very odd that neither i had not ambassador taylor not ambassador
voelker received a detailed readout of that call the biden references. now there are people who say they have concerns about the call but these were not shared with me at the time which would have been very helpful to know. on july time which would have been very helpful to know. 0njuly 26, ambassador taylor, ambassador of and i were all in kiev to meet with president zelensky. the timing of that trip was coincidental, the key meetings had been set before the date that the white house finally fixed the call. i do not recall zelensky discussing the substance of hisjuly 25 call with zelensky discussing the substance of his july 25 call with president trump, in orderto his july 25 call with president trump, in order to discuss any investigation of vice president
biden which we later learned was discussed in the july 25 call. after the zelinsky meeting, i also met with zielinski's senior aide stopped i don't recall the specifics of our conversation but the issue of the investigations was probably a part of that agenda or meeting. . also on july 26 shortly after our kiev meetings, i spoke by phone with president trump. the white house, which has finally shared certain call dates and times with my attorneys confirms this. the call lasted five minutes. i was at a re sta u ra nt lasted five minutes. i was at a restaurant in kiev and i have no reason to doubt that this conversation included the subject of investigations. again, given mr giuliani's demand that president zelensky make a public statement
about investigations, i knew that investigations were imported to president trump. we did not discuss any classified information. other witnesses have recently shared their recollection of overhearing this call. for the most part, recollection of overhearing this call. forthe most part, i recollection of overhearing this call. for the most part, i have no reason to doubt their accounts. it's true that the president speaks loudly at times and it's also true, i think we primarily discussed aesop rocky. it's true the president likes to use colourful language. anyone who has met him knows this. while i cannot remember the precise details, i have not seen any redoubts of this call and it did not strike me as significant at the time. actually, i would have been more surprised if president trump had not mentioned investigations, particularly given what we were hearing from mr
giuliani about the president's concerns. however, i have no recollection of discussing vice president's biden or his son on that call on after it ended. i know that members of this committee frequently frame 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 a white house meeting, the answer is yes. mr giuliani conveyed to secretary perry, ambassador volker and others that president trump wanted a statement from zelensky committing to investigations of burisma and the 2016 election. mr giuliani also expressed those requests directly to us. we all understood that these pre—requisites for the white house call and the
white house meeting reflected president trump's desires and requirements. within my state department e—mails, there is a july 19 e—mail, this e—mail was sent to secretary pompeo, secretary perry, brian mccormick, secretary perry's chief of staff at the time, miss kenna the acting, pardon me, executive secretary for secretary pompeo. chief of staff mulvaney added mr mulvaney's senior adviser rob blair. a lot of senior officials. here is my exact quote from that e—mail. i talked to volodymyr zelensky just from that e—mail. i talked to volodymyr zelenskyjust now. from that e—mail. i talked to volodymyr zelensky just now. he from that e—mail. i talked to volodymyr zelenskyjust now. he has prepared to receive the president's
call. we'll assure him that he intends to run a fully transparent investigation and will turn over every stone. he would greatly appreciate a call prior to sunday so that he can put out some media about a friendly and productive call, no details, prior to ukraine election on sunday. chief of staff mulvaney responded, i asked the nac to set it up responded, i asked the nac to set it up for tomorrow. everyone was in the loop. it was no secret. everyone was informed via e—mail on july 19. loop. it was no secret. everyone was informed via e—mail onjuly19. days before the presidential call. as i communicated to the team, i told volodymyr zelensky in advance that assurances to run a fully transparent investigation and turn over every stone were necessary in
his call with president trump. on july 19 in his call with president trump. on july19 ina his call with president trump. on july 19 in a message between ambassador taylor, kurt volker and me, kurt volker stated, had breakfast with rudy this morning, thatis breakfast with rudy this morning, that is ambassador kurt volker and rudy giuliani, teeing up call with the senior adviser on monday. most have helped, most important is for gordon sondland —— volodymyr zelensky to help investigation and address specific personnel issues if there are any. on august ten, the next day, he texted me, once we have a date, which is a date for the white house meeting, we will call for a press briefing announcing upcoming visit and outlining vision for the reboot of the us ukraine relationship. including among other
things burisma and election meddling in investigations. this is from him to me. the following day, august 11, this is critical, i sent an e—mail to councillor ulrich brechbuhl and lisa kenna. lisa kenna was frequently used as the pathway to secretary pompeo as sometimes you prefer to receive his e—mails through her, she would print them out and put them in front of him. with the subject ukraine, i wrote, mike, referring to my compared, kurt volker and i negotiated a statement from volodymyr zelensky to be delivered for our review in a day or two. the contents will hopefully make the boss happy enough, the boss being the president, to authorise an invitation. volodymyr zelensky plans
to have a big press conference on the open this subject, including specifics week. all of which referred to the 2016 and the burisma. miss kenna replied, gordon, i will pass to the secretary, thank you. again, everyone was in the loop. curiously, and this was very interesting to me, on august 26, shortly before his visit to kiev, ambassador bolton's office requested mr giuliani's contact information from me. i said ambassador bolton of the information directly. —— i sent. they requested mr giuliani's contact information on august 26. i was
first informed that the white house was first informed that the white house was withholding security aid to retrain during conversations with ambassador taylor on july 18. 2019. however, as i testified before, i was never however, as i testified before, i was never able to obtain a clear answer regarding the specific reason for the hold, whether it was bureaucratic in nature, which often happens, or reflected some other concern in the interagency process. i never participated in any of the subsequent dod or doh review meetings. that others have this site that might describe, sol meetings. that others have this site that might describe, so i cannot speak to what was discussed in those meetings. before the september 21 warsaw meeting, the ukrainians had become aware that security funding has yet to be dispersed. in the
absence of any credible explanation for the hold, i absence of any credible explanation forthe hold, i came absence of any credible explanation for the hold, i came to the conclusion that the aid, like the white house visit, wasjeopardised. in preparation for the september one warsaw meeting, i asked secretary pompeo whether a face—to—face conversation between trump and volodymyr zelensky would help to break the logjam. this was when president trump was still intending to travel to warsaw. specifically on august 22, i e—mailed secretary pompeo directly, copying secretariat kenna. i wrote, pompeo directly, copying secretariat kenna. iwrote, this pompeo directly, copying secretariat kenna. i wrote, this is my e—mail to secretary pompeo, should we block time in warsaw for a short put aside for photos to meet volodymyr zelensky? i would ask volodymyr zelensky? i would ask volodymyr zelensky to look him in the eye and tail him that once ukraine's new
justice folks are in place in mid—september, that volodymyr zelensky should be able to move forward publicly and with confidence on those issues of importance to the president in the us. hopefully that will help break the logjam. the secretary replied, yes. i followed up secretary replied, yes. i followed up the next day, asking to get 10—15 minutes on the warsaw schedule for this. i said, we would like to know when it is locked so that i can tell volodymyr zelensky and briefing. executive secretary kenna replied, i will try for sure. moreover, executive secretary kenna replied, i willtry for sure. moreover, given my concerns about the security aid, i have no reason to dispute that portion of senatorjohnson's recent letter in which he recalls conversations he and i had on august 30. by the end of august, my belief was 30. by the end of august, my belief was that if ukraine did something to demonstrate a serious intention to
fight corruption and specifically addressing burisma and the 2016, then the hold on military aid would be lifted. there was a september one meeting with president volodymyr zelensky in warsaw, unfortunately president trump's attendance was cancelled due to hurricane dorian. vice president p instead of —— attended instead. i mentioned to him before with the ukrainians that i had concerns that the delay in aid had concerns that the delay in aid had become tied to the issue of investigations. i recall measuring that before the volodymyr zelensky meeting. during the actual meeting, president volodymyr zelensky raised theissue president volodymyr zelensky raised the issue of security assistance directly with the vice president, and the vice president said that he would speak to president trump about it. based on my previous medication with secretary pompeo, i felt comfortable sharing my concerns with
mryour might. it comfortable sharing my concerns with mr your might. it was a brief pull aside conversations that happened within a few seconds. i told mr young that i believe the resumption of us aid would likely not occur until ukraine took some kind of action on the public statement that we had been discussing for many weeks. as my other state department colleagues have testified, this security aid was critical to ukraine's defence and should not have been delayed. i expressed this view too many during this period but my goal at the time was to do what was necessary to my goal at the time was to do what was necessary to get the aid released to break the logjam. i believed that the public statement we have been discussing for weeks for was essential to advancing that goal. i really regret that the ukrainians were placed in that predicament. but i do not regret doing what i could to try to break the logjam and to solve the problem.
i mentioned at the outset that throughout these events we kept state department leadership and others apprised of what we were doing. state department was fully supportive of our engagement in ukraine efforts and was aware that a commitment to investigations was among the issues we were pursuing. to provide just two examples, on june five, the day after the us eu mission hosted our independence day, we did it a month early, acting assistant secretary phil rika said an e—mailto assistant secretary phil rika said an e—mail to me, secretary and others, forwarding positive media cove rage of others, forwarding positive media coverage of volodymyr zelensky's attendance at our event, he wrote, andl attendance at our event, he wrote, and i quote, this headline underscores the importance and timeliness of volodymyr zelensky's visit to brussels, and the critical, perhaps historic role of the dinner
and engagement gordon coordinated. thank you for your participation and dedication to this effort. months later, on september three, dedication to this effort. months later, on septemberthree, i dedication to this effort. months later, on september three, i sent secretary pompeo and e—mail to express my appreciation for his joining a series of meetings in brussels following the warsaw trip. i wrote, brussels following the warsaw trip. iwrote, mike, thanks brussels following the warsaw trip. i wrote, mike, thanks for schlepping to europe. i think it was really important and the chemistry seems promising. appreciated. secretary pompeo replied the next day on wednesday september to —— september four, all good. you are doing great work. keep banging away. state department leadership expressed total support for our efforts to engage the new ukrainian administration. look, i have never doubted the strategic value of
strengthening our alliance with ukraine. at all times our efforts we re ukraine. at all times our efforts were in good faith, fully transparent to those tasked with overseeing them. our efforts were reported and approved, and not once doi reported and approved, and not once do i recall encountering an objection. it remains an honour to serve the people of the united states as their ambassador to the european union. i look forward to answering the committee's questions. thank you. we will now proceed with the first—round of questions as detailed. 45 minutes of questions conducted by the chairman. follow by 45 minutes for the ranking member minority council. unless i specify equal extended time, we will proceed under the five minute rule and every meadow will have the chance to ask questions. i recognise myself and majority counsel for the first round
of questions. mr gordon sondland, there is a lot of new material in your opening statement for us to get through. i want to start with a view topline questions before passing it over to esther goldman. and your depositions you testified that you found yourself on a continuum that found yourself on a continuum that found became more insidious over time. can you describe or you mean by this continuum of insidious theirs? mr chairman, when we left theirs? mr chairman, when we left the oval office, i believe i may —— on may 23, the request was very generic for an investigation of corruption in a very vanilla scents, and dealing with some of the oligarch problems in ukraine, which we re oligarch problems in ukraine, which were long—standing. as time went on, more specific items got added to the menu. including burisma and 2016
election meddling specifically, the dnc server specifically. over this continuum, it became more and more difficult to secure the white house meeting because more conditions were being placed on the white house meeting. and july 25, although you we re meeting. and july 25, although you were not privy to the call, and other condition was added, the investigation of the bite ins. other condition was added, the investigation of the bite inslj other condition was added, the investigation of the bite ins. i was not privy to the call and i did not know the condition of investing the bidens was a condition. you saw that in the cold record? it was not in any record i receive, i saw it in september. on this continuum, the beginning of the continuum on may 23 by the president instructs you to talk to rudy. and you understood that as a direction by the president that as a direction by the president that you needed to satisfy the concerns that rudy giuliani would express to you about what the president wanted in ukraine. not to
me, the entire group. correct. in your opening statement you confirmed there was a quid pro quo between the white house meeting and the investigations into burisma the 2016 election, that juliana investigations into burisma the 2016 election, thatjuliana was public promoting. —— giuliani. you say that other senior officials in the state department and the chiefs of staff office including nicola bailey, secretary pompeo, were aware of this quid pro quo that in order to get the white house meeting they would have to be these investigations the president wanted? correct. those again our investigation into 2016 and burisma ma the bidens. the bidens did not come up. but you won't learn that burisma meant the bite ins. today i know what it
means, ididn't bite ins. today i know what it means, i didn't know at the time. bite ins. today i know what it means, i didn't know at the timelj july 26, you confirmed you don't have the conversation with trumper from a restaurant in kiev that david holmes testified about last week. you have no doubts mr holmes's recounting with your conversation? the early part of mr holmes's recounting that i take exception with is i do not recall mentioning the bite ons, that did not enter my mind, it was burisma and the 26 teen election. no reason to believe he would make that up?|j election. no reason to believe he would make that up? i do not recall saying biden, i never recall that. but the rest of mr holmes's recollection is consistent with your own? i cannot testify to what mr hopes might or might not have heard through the phone, i don't know how he heard the conversation. ou
familiar with his testimony? yes. your only exception is to the name biden? correct yes. you said this morning that not only is it correct that the president brought up with you investigations on the foe the day after the july 24 call, but you would have been surprised had he not brought that up. yes, we had been hearing about it from rudy and we presumed he was getting it from the president. it seemed like a logical conclusion. mr holmes also testified that you told him president trump does not care about ukraine, he only ca res does not care about ukraine, he only cares about big stuff that relates to him personally. i take it from your, that you do not dispute that pa rt your, that you do not dispute that part of the conversation. he made that clear in the may 23 meeting, that clear in the may 23 meeting, that he was not particularly fond of ukraine, and we had a lot of heavy lifting to do to get him to engage.
you do not dispute that part of the recollection? no. in august when you worked with rudy giuliani and a top ukraine aged after a public statement to be issued that includes the announcement of investigations into burisma, you understood that was required by president trump before he would write a white house meeting to volodymyr zelensky? correct. i believe the ukrainians understood that. you informed mike pompeo about that statement?” understood that. you informed mike pompeo about that statement? i did. in august you told secretary pompeo that volodymyr zelensky would be prepared to tell president trump that his new justice prepared to tell president trump that his newjustice officials would be able to enhance matters of interest to the president which could break the logjam. when you say matters of interest to the president, you mean the investigations that president trump wanted. correct. that involved 2016
and burisma or the bite ons. 2016 and burisma or the bite ons. 2016 and burisma. breaking the logjam, you are talking about the security assistance. i was talking logjam generically because nothing was moving. that included the security assistance. correct. based on the context of that e—mail, this was not the first time you had discussed these investigations were secretary pompeo. no. he was aware of the connections that you were making between the investigations as a white house meeting at security assistance. yes. dirty ever take issue with you and say, no, that connection is not there? not that i recall. -- did he ever. you mentioned that you also had a conversation with vice president p
before his meeting with volodymyr zele ns ky before his meeting with volodymyr zelensky in warsaw. and that you raise the concern you had as well that the security assistance was being withheld because the president's desire to get a commitment from volodymyr zelensky to pursue these political investigations. what did you say to the vice president? i was in a briefing with several people and i just broke up and i said, it appears that everything installed until this statement gets made, words to that effect. ijust believe that to be the case based on the work that the three of us had been doing, and the vice president nodded like he heard what i said that was pretty much it asi what i said that was pretty much it as i recall. you understood that the ukrainians by going to raise the security assistance with the vice president at this meeting. security assistance with the vice president at this meetinglj security assistance with the vice president at this meeting. i didn't know what they would raise, but they in fact did raise it. it was public by that point that there was a hold
on the security assistance. yes, but idyllic get a pre—brief from the ukrainians. you knew certainly of their concern about the hold on the security assistance. and you wanted to help prepare the vice president for the meeting by letting him know what you thought was responsible for the hold on the security assistance. that's fair. do recall anything of the vice president said other than nodding your head when you made him aware of this? no, i do not have a read out of that meeting sol aware of this? no, i do not have a read out of that meeting so i cannot remember. and bitterly after this meeting, you went to speak with a marked and you told him similarly that in order to release the military assistance they would have to public analyses investigations. much has been made of that meeting, it was not a meeting, everyone got up it was not a meeting, everyone got up after the bilateral meeting between president volodymyr zelensky and the vice president and we do what they normally do, bellerin, shake hands, and i do not notify
came over to shake hands, and i do not notify came overto him shake hands, and i do not notify came over to him of vice versa, but he said, what is going on? i said don't know, might all be tied together. i was pursuing that it was. together. i was pursuing that it was. it was a short conversation. as you would later relay, you informed mrmmark you would later relay, you informed mr mmark that they would need to announce these investigations are not to get the aid, did you not? he was not to get the aid, did you not? he was already working on this investigation, the statement about the investigations. you confirm for him he needed to get it done if they we re him he needed to get it done if they were going to get the military aid? i likely dead. —— i likely did. were going to get the military aid? i likely dead. -- i likely did. mr morrison and buster taylor also related conversation you had with the president following the warsaw meeting in which the president relayed to you that there was no quid pro quo but nevertheless, u nless quid pro quo but nevertheless, unless volodymyr zelensky went to the mikei
unless volodymyr zelensky went to the mike i do now is these investigations, there would be a stalemate over the aid. is that correct? and that was an accurate reflection of your discussion with the president. that e-mail was not artfully written, i am the first to admit. i was trying to convey to ambassador taylor after his frantic e—mails to me and others about the security assistance, which by the way i agreed, i thought it was a very bad idea to hold that money. i finally called the president, i believe it was on the 9th of september, i cannot find the records and they will not provide them to me. buti and they will not provide them to me. but i believe ijust asked him an open—ended question, what do you wa nt an open—ended question, what do you want from ukraine? i keep hearing all these different ideas and theories at this and that. i was a very short, abrupt conversation. he was very short, abrupt conversation. he was not in a good mood. he just said, iwant was not in a good mood. he just said, i want nothing, was not in a good mood. he just said, iwant nothing, i was not in a good mood. he just said, i want nothing, i want no quid pro quo. tell volodymyr zelensky to
do the right thing, something to that effect. i typed out a text to ambassador taylor, and my reason for telling him this was not to defend what the president was saying, not to have an opinion on whether the president was being truthful, but simply to relate, i have gone as far asi simply to relate, i have gone as far as i can go, this is the final word i heard from the president, if you are still concerned, please get a hold of the secretary, maybe she can help. i'm not asking about your text message, but your conversations with mr morrison and ambassador taylor after you spoke with the president, either in that call or any different call. i am confused, which conversations? mr morrison testified that you relate a conversation you had with the president in which the president told you in no quid pro quo, but president volodymyr
zele ns ky quo, but president volodymyr zelensky must go to a microphone and announce these investigations and that he should want to. similarly you told ambassador taylor that while the president said no quid pro quo, unless volodymyr zelensky announced these investigations they would be at a stalemate, presumably a stalemate over the military assistance. do you have any reason to question those conversations that mr morrison added buster taylor took notes about? i think it has tightened my text, because in my text i think i said something to the effect, he wants volodymyr zelensky to do what he ran on, i believe it is transparency, which was mike on the way of saying he wanted these announcements to be made. the way of saying he wanted these announcements to be madelj the way of saying he wanted these announcements to be made. i am not asking about your text message, what you relate to ambassador taylor and mr morrison about your conversation with the president. do you have any reason to question their
recollection about what you told them? alll can recollection about what you told them? all i can say is that i expressed what i told what the president told me in that text. if i relate anything else, i don't recall. you don't recall? you have no reason to question ambassador taylor or mr morrison of what they voted their notes about your conversation with them? can you repeat what they wrote? conversation with them? can you repeat what they wrote ?|j conversation with them? can you repeat what they wrote? i will have mrgoldman repeat what they wrote? i will have mr goldman through that. the top line here, you have testified that the white house meeting that president volodymyr zelensky desperately wanted, that was very important to volodymyr zelensky. absolutely. you testified that that meeting was conditioned with a quid pro quo for what the president wanted, these investigations. add
that everybody knew it. correct. that white house meeting was going to be an official meeting between the two presidents. presumably. a working meeting. an official act. in order to perform that official act, donald trump wanted these two investigations that would help his re—election campaign. investigations that would help his re—election campaignlj investigations that would help his re-election campaign. i cannot characterise why he wanted them, all ican characterise why he wanted them, all i can tell you is this is what we heard from mr giuliani. but he had to get those investigations if that official act was going to take place? he had to announce the investigation, he didn't have to do them, asi investigation, he didn't have to do them, as i understood it. volodymyr zele ns ky them, as i understood it. volodymyr zelensky had to announce two investigations the president wanted, make a public announcement. correct. those were a great value to the president, he was insistent and his
tourney was insistent.” president, he was insistent and his tourney was insistent. i do not want tourney was insistent. i do not want to characterise whether they were value or not value. through mr giuliani we were led to believe that was giuliani we were led to believe that was what he wanted. you said mr giuliani was acting at the present) demand. when the president says, talked my personal lawyer, we followed his direction. so that official act was being conditioned on these things the present wanted as expressed through him and his lawyer. as expressed through rudy giuliani. you have also said it became your clear understanding that the military assistance was being withheld pending volodymyr zelensky announcing this investigation, correct? that was my presumption. my personal presumption based on the fa ct personal presumption based on the fact that the time. nothing was moving.
and you had discussion with the secretary of state in which she said the logjam could be left if zielinski announced investigations? i don't recall the logjam over aid, isaid i don't recall the logjam over aid, i said the logjam. i meant that whatever was holding up the meeting, whatever was holding up the meeting, whatever was holding up the meeting, whatever was holding up our deal with ukraine, i was trying to break. i was presuming. us what you said in your testimony. "my goal at the time was to do what was necessary to get the eight released to break the logjam." that's so your testimony, right? yes. so the military aid is also an official act, am i right? yes. this is not president trump is my personal bank account, its $4 million of the us taxpayer money. and there was a logjam in which the
president would not write that us check, you believe, until ukraine announced these two investigations the president wanted. that was my belief. thank you, mr chairman. in your opening statement, ambassador gordon sondland, you discussed the benefits of documents over the past few weeks. in terms of refreshing my recollection. reviewing these documents has helped you to remember the events that we are asking about, correct? correct. when you place a document in a date and context it helps to jog your memory, so you would agree that for people unlike yourself who take notes that that is very helpful to their own recollection of events, right? are
you saying people that take notes, it's helpful to have those documents or people who don't have those documents? i'm not a note taker, never have been. but you would agree that people who take contemporaneous notes generally are more able to remember things that people who don't? some, yes. and there are additional documents that you have been unable to obtain, is that right? correct. you said that the state department prevented you and your staff from trying to gather more documents, is that correct? certain documents. documents that i did not have immediate access to. who prevented you from doing that? you would have to ask my council, he was you would have to ask my council, he was doing that. based on the additional memory that you have gained over the past few weeks from reading the testimony of others based on their notes and reviewing
your own documents, you have remembered a lot more that you did when you were deposed, is that right? correct. one of the things that you now remember is the discussion that you had with president trump on july discussion that you had with president trump onjuly 26 in that restau ra nt president trump onjuly 26 in that restaurant in kiev. what triggered my memory was restaurant in kiev. what triggered my memory was someone's reference restaurant in kiev. what triggered my memory was someone's reference to asap rocky which i believe is the primary purpose of the phone call. you were sitting in a restaurant with david holmes kiev having lunch. i think with david holmes kiev having lunch. ithinkl with david holmes kiev having lunch. i think i took the whole team out to lunch after the meeting. it was a one—on—one meeting with andre? again, trying to reconstruct a very busy day without the benefit, but if someone said i had a meeting and i we nt someone said i had a meeting and i went to the meeting, then i'm not going to dispute that. particularly
if someone took notes at that meeting or sat outside the door when you did not let them in. i have no control over who goes into a meeting in ukraine. and you had also met with president zelensky that day among others? correct. you called president trump from your cell phone from the restaurant. that's correct. this was not a secure line. it was an open line. did you worry that a foreign government may be listening to your phone call with the president? i have unclassified conversations all the time from landlines that are unsecured and cell phones. if the topic is not classified, then it's up to the president to decide what's classified what is not classified and he was aware that it was an open line as well. and you don't recall the specifics of holding your phone
far away from your ear as mr holmes testified, but you have no reason to question his recollection of that, do you? it seems strange i would hold my phone here, i probably had a close to my ear, and he claims to have overheard the conversation and i'm not going to dispute what he did or didn't hear. he also testified that you confirm to president trump that you confirm to president trump that you confirm to president trump that you were in ukraine at the time and that president zelensky "loves your as. " it sounds like something i would say. that's how president trump that i communicate, a lot of four letter words. in this case, three letters. david holmes then said that he heard president trump ask "is zielinski going to do the investigation?" to which she
replied, "he's going to do it and they do add to that president zele ns ky they do add to that president zelensky will do anything that president trump asks him to." do you recall that? i remember president zelensky was very... solicitors is not a good word. he was willing to work with united states and was being very amicable and so putting it in trump speak, by saying he will do whatever you want means he will work with us on a whole host of issues. she was not only willing, he was eager because ukraine depends on the united states is its most significant ally. one of its most, absolutely. you are in kiev the day
after president zelensky spoke to president trump on the phone and you now know from reading the phone call that he requested a favour for president zelensky to do investigations related to the bidens and the 2016 election.” investigations related to the bidens and the 2016 election. i do now know that. you met with president zele ns ky that. you met with president zelensky and his aides the day after that phone call and you had a phone call on your phone from a restaurant terrace and you asked whether president zelensky will do the investigations and you responded that, he's going to do them, or it, and that president zelensky will do anything you ask him to do. is that accurate? it could have been worse to that effect, i don't my exact response. but you don't dispute that recollection, correct? iwon't dispute it but i don't recall. after you hung up from the president, mr
holmes testified about a conversation you and he had where he says that you told mr holmes that the president does not care about ukraine but the president used the more colourful language including a four letter word that you've just referenced. do you recall saying that to mr holmes? i don't recall my exact words but clearly the president beginning on may 23 when we met with him in the oval office was we met with him in the oval office was not a big fan. but he was a big fan of the investigations. apparently so. mr holmes said that you said that president trump only ca res you said that president trump only cares about the "big stuff" that benefits himself. is that something that you would have said at the time? i don't think i would have said that, i would have honestly said that, i would have honestly said that, i would have honestly said that he was not a big fan of ukraine and he wants the
investigation that we have been talking about for quite some time to move forward. that's what i would have said because that is the fact. mr holmes also remembers that you told him and giving an example of the big stuff the biden investigation that rudy giuliani was pushing. do you recall that?” don't. i recall burisma, not biden. do you recall referring to an investigation that rudy giuliani was pushing? i would likely have said that. even if you don't recall specifically mentioning the biden investigation to david holmes, we know that it was certainly on president trump's mind becausejust the day before his call with president zelensky, he mentions specifically the biden investigation
andi specifically the biden investigation and i want to show you that except from the call on july and i want to show you that except from the call onjuly 25 where president trump says, there is a lot of talk about biden's son, that biden is not the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the attorney general would be great. biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it, it sounds horrible to me. president zelensky then responds with a reference to the company that he is referring to and two witnesses yesterday said that when president zelensky actually said the company he said, burisma, so you would agree that regardless of whether you knew about the correction to the bidens, the very least you now know that that's what president trump wanted at the time through the burisma investigation.” now know it all, of course. and at
this time you are aware of the president's desire along with rudy giuliani to do these investigations including the 2016 election interference investigation, is that right? that's correct. weight mac you said president trump are directly due on the other to talk to rudy giuliani at the oval office on may 23. is that right? if we wanted to get anything done with ukraine, it was apparent to us that we needed to talk to your day. you understood that rudy giuliani spoke for the president. correct. president trump also made that clear to president zele ns ky also made that clear to president zelensky in that samejuly 25 phone call he said, mr giuliani is a highly respected man, he was the mayor of new york city, a great mayor of new york city, a great mayor and i would like to call you along with the attorney general. rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable
quy- happening and he is a very capable guy. after this, happening and he is a very capable guy. afterthis, president happening and he is a very capable guy. after this, president trump then mentions mr giuliani twice more in that call. now, for mr giuliani by this point, you understood that in order to get that white house meeting, that you wanted president zele ns ky to have meeting, that you wanted president zelensky to have and that president zele ns ky zelensky to have and that president zelensky desperately wanted to have, that ukraine would have to initiate these two investigations, is that right? they would have to announce that they were going to do it. giuliani and president trump didn't actually ca re giuliani and president trump didn't actually care if they did then, right? i never heard mr goldman anyone say the investigations had to start or be completed, the only thing i heard from mr giuliani or otherwise was that they had to be announced in some form and that form ke pt announced in some form and that form kept changing. announce publicly. and you recognise there would be political benefits to a public announcement as opposed to a private
confirmation, right? their weight was confirmation, right? their weight was expressed to me was that the ukrainians had a long history of committing two things privately and they never following through so mr trump presumably communicated through rudy giuliani, wanted the ukrainians on record publicly to say they were going to do these investigations. that's the reason that was given. but you never heard that was given. but you never heard that anyone said they really wanted them to do the investigations?” didn't hear either way. yourjuly 26 call with the president was not the only time you spoke to the president regarding the ukraine trip.” believe i spoke to him before his call. and that would be a july 25 the day before. i think i was flying to ukraine and i spoke with him just before i get on the plane if i re call before i get on the plane if i recall correctly. so that's two private telephone calls with
president trump in the span of two days. correct. you have direct access to president trump.” days. correct. you have direct access to president trump. i had occasional access when he chose to ta ke occasional access when he chose to take my calls, sometimes he would, sometimes he wouldn't. he certainly took your call twice as it related took your call twice as it related to ukraine on these two days. he did. on the morning ofjuly 25, you texted ambassador volker at 7:54am and you said, call asap. ambassador volker did not respond for another hour and volker did not respond for another hourand a volker did not respond for another hour and a half and you said, "hi, gordon, got your message and pasture message on, he will see you tomorrow, think everything is in place. —— past your message on." half an hour before that, volker had texted andre, a top eight for president zelensky and said, "good
lunch, thanks. heard from white house. assuming president zelensky promises he will investigate and get to the bottom of what happened in 2016, we will nail down a date for the visit to washington. " was this message the message you left for kurt volker on this voice mail? message the message you left for kurt volker on this voice mainm could have been hidden. i honestly don't remember but it seems logical to me. if he testified he got that message from me then i will concur with that. is it fair to say this message is what you receive from president trump and this phone call that morning? if you testify to that, to refresh my own memory, then yes, it's likely i would have received from president trump. the sequence certainly makes sense. you talk to president trump, you told
kurt volker to call you, you left a message for kurt volker, kurt volker sent this message to andrey yermak to prepare president zelensky and then president trump had a phone call where president zelensky spoke very similar to what was in this text message, right? and you would agree that the text message that is expressed here is that president zele ns ky expressed here is that president zelensky needs to convince trump that he will do the investigations in order to nail down the date for the visit to washington, dc, is that correct? that's correct. i'm going to move ahead to early august and early september when you came to believe that it wasn'tjust early september when you came to believe that it wasn't just the white house meeting that was contingent on the announcement of these investigations that the president wanted but security assistance as well. you testify that in the absence of any credible
explanation for the hold on security assistance, you came to the conclusion that, like the white house visit, the aid was conditioned on the investigations that president trump wanted. is that what you said in your opening statement?m trump wanted. is that what you said in your opening statement? it is. let me break this down with you. by this time, you and many top officials knew that the coveted white house meeting for president zele ns ky white house meeting for president zelensky was conditioned on these investigations, right? the announcement of the investigations. and that includes secretary pompeo, right? and many people. pompeo and of any? yes. i testify that this was a quid pro quo. you knew that the aid had been held up for at least six weeks, correct? i believe i found out through ambassador taylor that it had been held up around july 18 is when i heard originally. and
even though you searched for reasons, you were never given a credible explanation, is that right? that's right. and know when you spoke to thought that the aid should be held. i never heard anyone advocate for holding the aid. at the end of august it went public and the ukrainians knew about it, right?” believe there were some press reports presuming but at that point i think it became sort of common knowledge that everything might be tied together. president zelensky brought it up at that meeting with vice president mike pence.” brought it up at that meeting with vice president mike pence. i think it was more he sort of asked. a very vague recollection because i don't have a read of the bilateral meeting. why don't i have my cheque, essentially? you adjust to the
ukrainians receive no credible explanation. i certainly couldn't give them one. is this a two plus two equals four conclusion that you reached? pretty much. is the logical conclusion to you given all these factors that the it was also part of this quid pro quo? yep. i want to go back to your conversation with vice president mike pence before that meeting in warsaw. you indicated that said meeting in warsaw. you indicated that. said to him that you are that you said to him that you are concerned that the delay in the aid was tied to the issue of investigations, is that right?” don't know exactly what i say to him, it was everything attended by many people and i was elated at the la st many people and i was elated at the last minute, i wasn't scheduled to be there, but i think i spoke up at some point late in the meeting and said it looks like everything is being held up until these statements get made and that's my personal
belief. and vice president pjust nodded his head? again, i don't re call nodded his head? again, i don't recall any exchange. i think it was duly noted. he did not say, "gordon, what are you talking about, what investigations?" he what are you talking about, what investigations? " he did what are you talking about, what investigations?" he did not. after this meeting, you discussed when you relayed your belief to andrey yermak that they needed to reveal these investigations prior to the aid being released, is that right?” saidl being released, is that right?” said i did know exactly why, but this could be a reason. you had been speaking with andrey yermak for quite a while about a public announcement of these investigations, right? we had all been working on that. in addition to
the white house meeting, security it was also no involved. i said it could have been involved, yes. i'm going to show you another text exchange you had on september one where ambassador taylor says to you, are we know saying that security assistance and white house meetings are conditioned on investigations? and you respond, call me. ambassador taylor recalls that he did call you and you did have a conversation and in that conversation, you told ambassador taylor that the announcement of these investigations by president zelensky needed to be public and that that announcement was conditioned and would ultimately release the aid. do you recall that conversation with ambassador taylor? again, my conversation with ambassador taylor and senator johnson were all my personal belief
based on, as you put it, two plus two equals four. ambassador taylor says that president trump had told you that he wanted president zele ns ky to state you that he wanted president zelensky to state publicly, as of september one. do you have any reason to doubt ambassador taylor's testimony which he said was based on his meticulous, contemporaneous notes ? his meticulous, contemporaneous notes? president trump never told me directly that the aid was conditioned on the meetings. the only thing we got directly from giuliani was that burisma in 2016 elections were conditioned on the white house meeting. the aid was my own personal guess, based again on your analogy, two plus two equals four. so you didn't speak to president trump and ambassador taylor says that's what you told him? is your testimony? my testimony
isi him? is your testimony? my testimony is i never heard from president trump that it was conditioned on announcement of elections. so you never heard of specific words. correct. lets move ahead because you have another conversation a little bit later that both tim morrison and ambassador taylor recount but in the september one conversation, ambassador taylor says that, under oath, you said that president trump wa nted oath, you said that president trump wanted zelinsky in a public box. do you recall using that expression? yes, it goes back to my earlier comment that coming from the giuliani source because we didn't discuss this specifically with president trump that they wanted whatever commitments they wanted you claim to be made publicly so they would be on the record and held more accountable, whatever those commitments were. you also testified
that he had made a mistake in telling ukrainians that only the white house meeting was conditioned on the announcement of investigations and that, in fact, everything was, including the security assistance. do you remember saying that? when i referenced the mistake, i thought that the statement made by the new ukrainian prosecutor that these investigations would be started up again or commenced and sufficient to satisfy press giuliani and president trump. asl press giuliani and president trump. as i recall, my mistake was someone came back through volker and said otherwise, it's not going to do if the prosecutor makes these statements. the president wants to heed from zelinsky directly. that's the mistake i think i made. heed from zelinsky directly. that's the mistake i thinkl made. do you have any reason to question ambassador taylor's testimony based on his notes? i'm not going to question or not question, i'm just going to tell you what i was
referring to. let me fast forward we can show you another text exchange which might help refresh your recollection. september eight, you sent a text to ambassador taylor and ambassador volker, can you read what you wrote? studio: if you want to keep watching proceedings from washington, bbc parliament has continuous coverage of that. we're going to pull away. some difficult testimony for the white house and president trump to listen to. five words, we followed the president's orders, are words that may well come back to haunt him. we heard they are from gordon sondland that rick perry and special envoy volker were asked to work with trumper‘s personal lawyer rudy giuliani at the express direction of the president. we didn't want to work with giuliani, he said, simply put, we played the hand we were
dealt. he also went on to say when asked, was that a quid pro quo, he says, as i testify previously with regard to the question white house: white house meeting, the answer to that question is yes. strong testimony and also the involvement of mike pompeo are drawn further into this continuing row over what was and wasn't said over the meetings with the ukrainian president. we'll bring you more on that from washington later on. now it's time for a look at the weather. it's been a dry but largely chilly day. we had cloud but there were brighter spells trying to break through. as we head through the rest of this afternoon and this evening, there is a little bit of patchy rain to come for some western parts of the uk. northern ireland and the southwest of england in particular. elsewhere, dry weather, one or two
showers possible for parts of eastern scotland. there will be a bit more cloud and a bit more of a breeze in recent nights —— than in recent nights. temperatures close to freezing, particularly in the countryside, for scotland and northern england in particular, but most northern england in particular, but m ost pla ces northern england in particular, but most places are free to such a thursday. 30 has a slow moving weather front to start into southwest england and south wales and the odd shower for eastern scotla nd and the odd shower for eastern scotland but elsewhere, largely dry, filaments of cloud, temperatures are still rather chilly for this time of year, seven to 10 celsius.
hello, you're watching afternoon live — i'm simon mccoy. today at 4pm: setting out their election manifesto, the liberal democrats promise they'll be able to invest billions of pounds in public services by giving a clear choice over brexit. we want to stop brexit and build a brighter future, and that people have the opportunity to choose that. there are many seats across the country where liberal democrats are now in contention. borisjohnson pledges a significant cut to national insurance payments if the conservatives win the election. more from the trump impeachment inquiry — the us ambassador to the eu says the president was behind pressure on ukraine to investigate joe biden. we'll bring you the latest from washington. was there a quid pro quo? as i testified previously, with regard to
the requested white house call and the requested white house call and the white house meeting, the answer is yes. a letter written by buckingham palace in 2011 casts doubt on prince andrew's account of when he first met the sex offenderjeffrey epstein. coming up on afternoon live, all the sport — with holly hamilton. more reaction to the new spurs boss, jose mourinho. his appointment and maurico pochettin's sacking has divided opinion — we'll have more at half four. thanks, holly — aad we'll be joining you for a full update just after 4:30pm. sarah has ther weather. it has a largely dry, fairly chatty autumn day, some rain in the forecast, particularly to the south—west of the next few days. lots of dry weather for that much of the uk. i will bring you all the details in half an hour. also coming up — the mission to save thousands of animals from australia's bushfires. we'll have the latest on the desperate efforts.
hello, everyone — this is afternoon live. the liberal democrats have set out their general election manifesto, reiterating their pledge to stop brexit. the party claims by doing so it will be able to invest billions of pounds in public services and tackling inequality. the manifesto also includes a pledge to tackle climate change by generating more electricity through renewable energy. our political correspondent chris mason reports. debt for hundreds of thousand of students thanks to your party! election campaigns are noisy — critics of the liberal democrats like to remind them of their time in government, supporters like to drown out the critics. jo swinson went to school in cambridge this morning. this is nonfiction. also published today, her party's pamphlet manifesto, 96 pages, but one topic dominates.
the liberal democrats will be fighting to stop brexit. that is our priority because we believe we are better in the european union, it is better for our public services like the nhs, our environment and it is better for people's jobs. the party's main pitch is to cancel brexit. they point to economic forecasts suggesting remaining in the eu is better for the economy — they would have more money to spend. they also want 8% of our electricity generated by renewable sources within a decade, and are promising 20,000 extra teachers in england within five years. -- 80%. today we have set out the details of our plans on schools funding and making sure that there can be up to 20,000 new teachers employed in schools across the country. that is incredibly important for our children's education at a time when schools have really been struggling with funding. what else is in here? more stuff on schools in england, getting
rid of 0fsted and replacing it with an alternative inspections system. replacing mandatory sats and league tables. but the big question for the party, given the noise of labour and the conservatives, and the snp in scotland, is how much they can get noticed. our political correspondent chris mason is in north london. the chris mason is in north london. message behind yi we the message behind you, quite clear, we knew that would be in the ma nifesto. we knew that would be in the manifesto. anything eye—catching? from camden in north london, far too trendy for me to be seen hanging out, only because there is a party ma nifesto out, only because there is a party manifesto launch that they have let me end. a bar over my shorter with an impossible range of whiskeys. various stables with central message from the party, jo swinson expected
here and tower. here is the document itself. brexit runs through everything, all 96 pages. they talk about this remain bonus, looking at economic projections that suggest staying in the eu well allow a greater level of economic growth than any of the brexit options. they would spend the tax revenue that would spend the tax revenue that would accrue from that outcome from brexit, because they want brexit to be cancelled other rain overall majority, or things like education, also they have high chewing of the tax on frequent flyers, so they point to the fact that a very small number of people do the vast majority of flights and so want to see those people charged a lot more. whilst not penalising those might go for a summer holiday. a slight problem for the liberal democrats, the news that one of their candidates in birmingham has been suspended. yes, there's courtesy of some investigation by the buzz feed a website. we had a statement from
the lib dems in the last ten minutes, this relates to waheed rafi, their candidate in hodge hill, he has been suspended over anti—semitic and racist tweets and facebook posts. the party say it became aware of this particular incident at lunchtime today, they did some investigation and realise the tweets were authentic, they were from who they were purported to be sent from. so he has been suspended. but it is too late for the party to put up another candidate, so his name will be on the ballot paper three weeks tomorrow. albeit in ac that the lib dems are not likely to do well in, last time round they only managed 805 votes. borisjohnson says workers will not have to pay national insurance until they earn £12,000 a year if the conservatives are elected to power.
the current threshold sees workers paying national insurance contributions once they earn £8,628 a year. the prime minister made the pledge whilst answering questions from workers at an engineering firm in teesside. you said low tax, low tax for people like you for people like us? no tax for people of the working people. if you look at what we are doing, what isaid in you look at what we are doing, what i said in last few days, we are going to be cutting national insurance up to £12,000, we will be making sure we cut business rates for small businesses that we are cutting tax for working people. our political correspondent nick eardley is travelling with the prime minister on his campaign bus. he said that the prime minister may not have been planning on revealing his tax plans today. we are spent a lot of the last
couple of weeks hearing the rehearsed messages from the campaigns. it looks like boris johnson has come out with a slightly accidental one, perhaps given us his big tax pledge of the general election. he was asked a slightly awkward question by one of the workers at a dockyard. whether he would plan tax cuts for people like him orfor people like her. his response was he was planning tax cuts for workers and he was the giveaway, he said, we are going to be cutting national insurance up to £12,000. that is a new announcement from the prime minister, not one we think he was planning. the details are still a bit sketchy, we don't yet know exactly what it will look like. it sounds a bit like it will be incremental, so perhaps next year the level would go up to 9500. then over time it will go up above that, 12,000, tell thousand 500, we don't know exactly when he wants that to happen. if it happens it is a big
saving for taxpayers. more than £400 a year, we should hear a bit more from the prime minister in the next while about exactly whether this announcement is happening now or if he will try and hold it, but it's as like the cat is out of the bag. the conservatives have been accused of misleading the public — after they rebranded one of their official party accounts to make it look like a factchecking service, during last night's itv leaders' debate. the party temporarily changed the name of its campaign headquarters press office account to factcheckuk. twitter said if would take "decisive corrective action" if a similar stunt was attempted again. speaking on bbc breakfast this morning the foreign secretary, dominic raab, defended the move — he said that "no one gives a toss about the social media cut and thrust". critics of the move, though, say it's an abuse of public trust — just at the time that issue of trustis at the heart of this election campaign.
looking online, what to take at face value? last night a brief rebrand of a conservative party twitter account to fa ct a conservative party twitter account to fact check uk, as the press office shared its interpretation of the head—to—head debate. office shared its interpretation of the head-to-head debate. tonight they can prime minister boris johnson and the leader of the labour party, jeremy corbyn, debate. mr and our long exchange covering a range of issues... let into the privatisation of the nhs. what could be more ruinous than a crackpot pad for a four—day week? be more ruinous than a crackpot pad for a four-day week? jeremy corbyn was last out on brexit. we will abide by that result. and boris johnson on trust. does the truth matter in this election?” johnson on trust. does the truth matter in this election? i think it does, andl matter in this election? i think it does, and i think it very important. i have been very clear. if trust is an issue, do people care about the conceptus‘ twitter adjustment?
an issue, do people care about the conceptus' twitter adjustment? no one gives a toss about the social media cut and thrust, they care about the substance of the issues, and there is a huge matter scepticism about all politicians, but we are not going to have this nonsense put around by labour. accusations of misinformation or lied and on the campaign trail fly around in an election between the parties. but today in response to there's row, the electoral commission said voters are entitled to integrity and transparency, and last night twitter warned that if something like this happen again it would result in decisive action. the conservatives say it was still clear who was running the account, but one senior labourfigure who was running the account, but one senior labour figure said twitter should have taken it down. there has been criticism elsewhere. to suggest that they were an independent fact checker, that to me i thought was utterly outrageous at a time when there were many questions about, do you trust borisjohnson? there were many questions about, do you trust boris johnson? some point to say this account, called the
insider, offering fact not waffle, but it is labour run, party sources say it is clearly marked as such at that the two cases are incomparable. there were no knockout blows between these two men last night, but the episode has sparked controversy even if avi is the off rather than on stage. meanwhile, nicola sturgeon has warned that the uk will be ‘engulfed by brexit chaos' for years if the conservatives win a majority. speaking in dundee, the snp leader warned that investment across scotland in a range of key public services like the nhs will be at risk from brexit, and urged voters to back independence instead. a reminder that if you've not yet registered to vote on december 12th, or if you want to vote by post, there are only a few days left to apply. there are details about how to do that on the website, at bbc.co.uk/news or full details on the bbc news app. happening now in washington — these are live pictures of the us ambassador
to the european union gordon sondland. he's giving evidence to the house's hearing on the impeachment of president donald trump. at its heart — the accusation that the president deliberately witheld aid from ukraine in the hope that they would open an investigation into his likely 2020 challengerjoe biden's son. among the revelations so far — the ambassador has said that he worked alongside the president's personal lawyer in issues pertaining to ukraine — because the president insisted. this is what he said in the last hour. secretary perry, ambassador kurt volker and i worked with mr rudy giuliani on ukraine matters at the express direction of the president of the united states. we did not wa nt to of the united states. we did not want to work with mr giuliani. simply put, we were playing the hand we we re simply put, we were playing the hand we were dealt. so we followed the president's orders. the ambassador also said that the actions of president trump's personal
lawyer, including the demand to open an inquiry into president trump's most likely presidential challenger joe biden's son were a quid—pro—quo. mr giuliani's requests where a quid pro quo for a arranging a white house visit for president volodymyr zelensky. mr giuliani demanded that ukraine makea zelensky. mr giuliani demanded that ukraine make a public statement announcing the investigations of the 2016 election, dnc server, and burisma. mr giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the united states, and we knew these investigations were important to the president. joining me now is dr thomas gift, lecturer in political science at university college london. how damaging was that? the most damaging testimony we have seen so far. the debate up until this point has surrounded this issue of, is it a quid pro quo? gordon sondland seem
to be more directly involved than anyone so far, he seemed to confirm that indeed it was a factor, and not only that, everyone was in the loop, ever when you about it. that brings in mike pompeo in a way he hasn't been drawn in before. it drew him in and also rudy giuliani as a key centralfigure. up and also rudy giuliani as a key central figure. up until this and also rudy giuliani as a key centralfigure. up until this point, some people have been saying to much ofa some people have been saying to much of a select of clarity as to whether the president was directing theirs or someone else. basically gordon sondland seem to suggest that this went on the very top into the oval office. he didn'tjust suggest that, he said it. just how damaging is theirs? does this mean an impeachment process is more likely to go further? it does make it more likely, this base that confirmed a lot of the detail that we knew already until this point. i still think it will be very difficult to get the 20 also senators in the
senate to turn on donald trump. simply because donald trump still has a very loyal base among conservative voters, as though turning on him potentially would have dire ramification for the electoral prospects. we will keep a look at the poll numbers. even his staunchest supporter will feel there isa staunchest supporter will feel there is a problem here. some republicans may acknowledge their was a problem. and that this was at the very least an improper use of executive power. but some might say, this still doesn't rise to the level of an impeachable offence, some reporters have moved the goalposts are back. that sentence, we were acting on the directions of the president, there is nowhere to go with that for president trump. it is very explicit, and i do think ultimately the safe harbour for republicans will be to say, maybe this was a quid pro quo, in fact it almost has to be my maybe it was problematic, but it doesn't rise to the level of impeachment. in terms of a witness,
how convincing is gordon sondland given that he has given to previous versions of this before? that is a great point, because he gave his original closed—door testimony, he had to revise that and now we are seeing further clarifications, certainly i think can expect republics to challenge him a lot of his key assertions and also for donald trump himself to say, this person was incredible, he has told a lot of people under the bus, why not another? watching that as he was in the white house, how do you think donald trump will have reacted? i've probably keep a close eye on his twitter feed, but i'm sure he was watching intently, this couldn't have been good news for him. so ultimately i guess we will see what the response is. and a reminder you can continue to follow that hearing live on bbc parliament. you're watching afternoon live,
these are our headlines: borisjohnson pledges a significant cut to national insurance payments, if the conservatives win the election setting out their election manifesto, the liberal democrats promise they'll be able to invest billions of pounds in public services — by giving a clear choice over more from the trump impeachment inquiry — the us ambassador to the eu says the president was behind pressure on ukraine to investigate joe biden. spurs fans have been writing to the appointment ofjose mourinho. he replaces pochettino who was sacked last night. great britain are level at 1-1 last night. great britain are level at 1—1 at the cups final match with the netherlands, dan evans has been beaten in three sets by robin hack. andy murray beat the netherlands number two. and dom sibley will make his england debut in the first test against new zealand which starts tonight, he will open the batting alongside rory burns. i will be back
with more and all stories that for 30 pm. borisjohnson boris johnson announcing the threshold for national insurance payments would be raised, we are just hearing confirmation of the plans to raise that threshold to £9,500 at the first stage then up to £12,000. there is no timeframe confirmed yet. the understanding, the goal is thousand £500. this all came up as borisjohnson faced questions from a potential voter on peace i'd. we have had response from labour, shadow chores likejohn mcdonnell said the pies will cost the economy £11 billion a year, he said even after ten years of cruel cuts and creaking public services that boys still think the answer to
the challenges of our time is a tax cut of £1 60 for a week. there was a universal credit get about 60 p. he said experts have said this will cost u p said experts have said this will cost up to £11 billion, so everyone who relies on public services and social security will be wondering whether they will be paying the price. that is reaction to that confirmation of plants from the tories to cut the threshold for national insurance payments. a former employee of the british consulate in hong kong has told the bbc he was tortured in mainland china and accused of inciting political unrest. simon cheng says he was blindfolded and hooded while he was detained for a fortnight in august. the foreign secretary has summoned the chinese ambassador, but china says it won't accept the summons and has told britain to stop interfering in its affairs, but it hasn't denied mr cheng's allegations. our correspondentjohn sudworth has been speaking exclusively to mr cheng. i've been shackled, i've been handcuffed and i have been blindfolded. and also they made me hooded.
they put a hood on your head? yes. for how many hours would that last? i don't know, because i cannot see anything. but a very long time. and then they handcuffed me like this. your hands are cuffed and they hang you on something? yes, exactly. and then they start the torture, for example, like put my hands up, handcuffed for several hours. and that's very painful. and then, for example, you need to do lots of extreme exercise. the stress test, for example, you need to do something like this. for several hours as well. and you shuffle, your legs will shuffle. you cannot stand still. and if you try to sit down or stop, what would happen? they would beat me. did they beat you? yes, of course. of course they would ask whether the consul instruct me to mingle with the protest.
they regard me as the mastermind, represents the uk. the consul instruct and recruit volunteers from the start to tap into and stay tuned to the status of the protesters and report back to the consulate. actually, i cried and i said, no need to torture me. i will say anything you want me to say, but i want to make 100% clear that i didn't. the uk did not assign any resources, or materials or anything to the protests. one young girl came and then one of the interrogators told me she is also because of the protests. i had been brought to the detention centre, i realised not only me, it's a bunch of the people also from hong kong get caught because of the protest.
how many of you, do you think? what i saw is about ten, but i'm not sure how many. but i would feel quite a lot. and i heard someone spoke in cantonese saying, raise your hands up. he said you raised lots of flags when you're in the protest. raise your hands up, quite loud. and ifeel that this is part of the torture because i remember i had been told to raise my hands up as well. a teenage neo—nazi who listed venues in his home city "worth acts. the 16—year—old boy drafted his own manifesto targetting schools, pubs and council buildings to "maximise the impact of the attacks and damage the system the most". the court heard the teen researched explosives and the police had found instructions on how to make bombs. the durham teenager,
who cannot be named because of his age, was found guilty of six terror offences at manchester crown court. he'll be sentenced injanuary. a letter written to the times newspaper in 2011 by buckingham palace suggests prince andrew first met the sex offenderjeffrey epstein in the early 1990s — several years earlier than claimed by the duke. a number of organisations have severed ties with the prince following the bbc interview in which he defended his friendship with epstein. our royal correspondent jonny dymond gave us the latest from buckingham palace. one of the first questions that prince andrew was asked in that interview was, when did you first meetjeffrey interview was, when did you first meet jeffrey epstein? interview was, when did you first meetjeffrey epstein? he replied 1999, through epstein's then girlfriend. the letter in the times published in 2011, a letterfrom prince andrew's private secretary, his most senior adviser, says that prince andrew met epstein in the early 90s. that means that the
relationship between the two men, if it is the early 90s, almost twice as long as we thought was. as prince andrew said it was. king power said that his words speak for themselves, and that he stands by his recollection. —— buckingham palace said. this is not some fast bombshell but it is part of the gradual and ongoing undermining of aspects of what he said in the interview. alongside that undermining is also the slow seeping of support from prince andrew and the organisations he is connected to by corporate sponsors. in the last few days we're seen a number either end their relationship, now is the end their relationship, now is the end of their relationship or sake they are reviewing their relationship, corporations and universities, and today bt said it was reviewing its relationship with a digital skills provider which
andrew is patron of. any very strong statement, it said, i paraphrase, if they change their patron, we may yet be able to work with them. this is very bad news, because this is beyond the headlines and the commentary, this is the real world impact, this is co—operated pulling back from the charities that prince andrew has relationships with. the president of the oxford union has resigned over a pa rtially—sighted student being forcefully removed from a debate. brendan mcgrath had come under increasing criticism for his handling of the incident. ebenezer azamati was "accosted" by a security guard when he tried to return to a seat he had earlier reserved before the discussion last month. on saturday, he was cleared of any wrongdoing. well, let's talk to amaka ogbonna — she's the president of the oxford university africa society and joins me now from our oxford studio.
is this resignation and end to this matter? no, it is not an end to the matter, but it is an important first step. because it sends a strong message that that sort of behaviour and conduct by leaders is unacceptable. right now we are still pressing forward with the rest of our demands, which include a compensation to ebenezer azamati and punishment of the security person that was responsible for the assault. we are aware that ebenezer azamati and his lawyers are talking with the union on how to address theseissues with the union on how to address these issues and will continue to follow closely onto, ensure that justice is fully served. you use the word assault, the secret to guard suggested he was accosted. what is your understanding of what happened? ebenezer azamati was returning to the union to reclaim his seat that he had previously reserved and then he had previously reserved and then
he was challenged by the security person. even after two other people had offered him seats to sit down. once ebenezer azamati asserted his right to be within the union chambers, this occurred to person proceeded to forcibly remove him from the chamber. what does his treatment suggest about what is going on at oxford?” treatment suggest about what is going on at oxford? i think that it shows that oxford union in particular has a lot of problems that it has yet to address, particularly when it comes to making accessible for students of all races and nationalities. and also u nfortu nately and nationalities. and also unfortunately with students for special needs. i hope this moment will give them an opportunity to reflect a nd will give them an opportunity to reflect and review policies that can address these issues. the acting president says the standing committee will discuss equality training for staff and its
complaints process. would that put a line under this? i think that is a great first step. these are the sort of outcomes that we hope will emerge from this process. beyond addressing specific demands, these are the kind of broader institutional changes that we look forward to, i do think it is welcome in that they are thinking along those lines already. now it's time for a look at the weather with sarah keith lucas. it be largely dry but fairly chilly today, if a amount of cloud around. some writers does try to break through. this picture was taken in walton on thames. this afternoon and this evening, patchy rain to come for western parts. northern ireland and the south—west of england in
particular. elsewhere a lot of dry weather, clear spells overnight, showers possible also for parts of eastern scotland. more cloud and a breeze, not quite as cold, temperatures getting close to freezing, particularly in the countryside, in touch and frost possible for parts of scotland and northern england. most places for three to start your thursday. thursday, slow—moving weather front bringing outbreaks of rain to parts of the south—west, parts of northern ireland, the shower for eastern scotland. elsewhere largely dry, fairamount of scotland. elsewhere largely dry, fair amount of cloud, temperatures chilly for the time of year, 7—10dc. goodbye for now. this is bbc news. our latest headlines. today at four: borisjohnson pledges to raise the national insurance threshold to £12,500, but there's no confirmation of a timescale.
setting out their election manifesto, the liberal democrats promise they'll be able to invest billions of pounds in public services by staying in the eu. we wa nt we want to stop brexit and debate are future and give people the opportunity to choose that —— and build a brighter future. opportunity to choose that —— and build a brighterfuture. there are many seats where the liberal democrats are in contention. more from the trump impeachment inquiry. the us ambassador to the eu says the president was behind pressure on ukraine to investigate his rival joe biden. was there a quid pro quo? as i testified previously, with regard to the requested white house call and the requested white house call and the white house meeting, the answer is yes. a letter written by buckingham palace in 2011 casts doubt on prince andrew's account of when he first met the sex offenderjeffrey epstein. sport now on afternoon live with holly hamilton. a new manager for tottenham. how much of a surprise was this?
you almost felt there was a sense of morning last night. tottenham fans expressing their grief about the news that pochettino had been sacked. this was a sacking and then within hours, specualtion moved immediately to confirmation this morning that a very familiar face to the premier league would be taking over. jose mourinho has been out of work since he was dismissed by manchester united last december, although he's turned down a number of offers, but he still lives in london. one thing we know about him — he knows how to win trophies, something that pochettino has failed to do with spurs depsite getting them to the champions league final last season. for mourinho, though, his priority will be getting tottenham back up the table. they're 14th at the minute and without a win in
their last five games. it's fair to say the fans have mixed views on the changes, some opitmistic, others loooking to the future with some trepidation. i think he's going to bring the champions league to tottenham because i think that's the main goal. that should be the main goal, to win the champions league.” goal. that should be the main goal, to win the champions league. i feel like there's reason spurs are in the position they are in is because pochettino was allowed to dream, so to diminish that and completely disregard everything he's done for the last 5.5 years is quite disrespectful. good choice, time for a difference to make the team a lot better. i don't think he's going to doa better. i don't think he's going to do a greatjob because of what he's done at man united. i think giving pochettino a bit more time to change things around or turn the club around.
perhaps winning the champions league is a little optimistic. nevertheless, their next game is away at west ham on saturday so it will be interesting to see what kind of reaction he gets there. yes, so a mixed view from the fans, but what about the world of football? the reaction to the appointment has been mixed and there's been quite a lot of support for pochettino, although many admit there had to be a change. harry kane and dele alli paying tribute. others likes gary lineker have voice their concern over the decision. others admit there had to be a change — things haven't been the same since that champions league defeat. among them former spurs boss harry redknapp — he thinks mourinho will have plenty to work with. he's walking into a good squad that have been underachieving for a while and to go in there and lift them now and to go in there and lift them now and get them into the champions league, which is still a possibility, he'll have a massive bonus in his contract, to make
champions league this season this year, will be giving it everything he's got and looking to make one or two changes and one or two players he's been looking at while he's been out of work. it's currently one—all in britain's davis cup tie against the netherlands in madrid. andy murray won the first match before dan evans was beaten by robin haase. an evans victory would have won the tie for britain and he made a great start taking the first set of the group match 6—3. but haase fought back, levelled the match on a tie—break before going on to win the third set 6—4. andy murray got great britain off to a winning start. it wasn't easy, though. he lost the first set against the world number 179 tallon griekspoor on a tie—treak. murray admitted he'd put on a few pounds during a break from the court after the birth of his third child and he did look less sharp than usual, but he fought back to win the decider
on another tie—break. the new england cricket coach chris silverwood will get the first chance to see his vision for the side in action tonight, when the first test against new zealand starts in mount maunganui. warwickshire's dom sibley will make his debut, opening the batting alongside rory burns. this two—test series is being seen as a dry run for the next ashes series, even though it isn't part of the world test championship. it's an opportunity for us as a side to continue our development and improvement running away from home. obviously there are points to be played for when we get to sri lanka later on this winter so there are plenty with a few new faces around, so plenty to play for for everyone and for us to lay a marker down, how we wa nt and for us to lay a marker down, how we want this winter to go. that's all the sport for now.
now on afternoon live, let's go nationwide and see what's happening around the country in our daily visit to the bbc newsrooms around the uk. let's go to bristol with bbc points west's alex lovell who is talking about a dementia awareness project. stewart white from look east is in norwich talking about eco—friendly eyewear. alex, pupils are learning and teaching others about dementia ? this has come off the back of the alzheimer's society. they say the number of people living with dementia in the west is predicted to increase dramatically over the next few years so we got an example, they say that almost 50% more people in wiltshire will have the disease. these are huge numbers. in gloucestershire, there is a group of 12 and 13—year—olds from a community school and they have made a video to
promote awareness of the disease so these pupils thought the best way to understand it and help others in turn was to put themselves in the shoes of those people who are affected literally so they did this by wearing what they are calling each simulation suits and they went shopping so the suit means that they wear glasses that narrows down the field of vision, removes any clarity from your eyesight. they wear special gloves that reduce your grip when trying to do simple tasks, headphones as well as reproduce high—frequency hearing loss and also shoes that are bigger than their own, just to add to that feeling of disorientation and reduce coordination as well. let's hear how they got on. ijust felt bad for someone with dementia because they have to deal with that for the rest of their life. it was quite upsetting at some point to realise that every day tasks that we can do, they are going to the shop to buy a bag of sweets or some milk, it's such a big task
for someone with dementia and they can often feel quite embarrassed if they do things wrong. some of them are talking from experience. not only did they do this exercise but they got really involved and really did go for it. they visited those who have the condition as well so they could heed about it first hand. unsurprisingly, as many of us do, some of them have got family members who have or have had the condition so that was nice, give them a chance to talk about it, to see what it was like, to understand what it might have been like for a great—grandfather or a grandmother or whatever it might have been so all of this has been put together and be made into a film that is being shown in schools across gloucestershire. it's called i'm still here which is a really nice title and they are hoping it will help us all have a bit more understanding. great story, a positive one. stewart, tell us about
this special eyewear. let me give you some facts and figures first, simon. 640,000 tonnes of fishing nets are dumped into the sea a year. they call them ghost fishing nets. they break down and there are micro plastics in their and the experts tell us that if you've got one of these fishing nets in the sea, 30 to 40 marine animals are harmed every year as a result of each of those nets so it's a big, big problem and the idea is that we got somebody at the university of east anglia who comes from canterbury, his name is george bailey, he's 19, canterbury, his name is george bailey, he's19, and he wants to turn those wasted fishing nets into glasses and glasses frames. this is what he had to say. fishing nets are one of the most abundant waste materials in the ocean which makes up materials in the ocean which makes up 46% in some areas of all marine waist so i guess the materials are so abundant that a can make a big
difference if we use it in our eyewear. plastic is a big issue at the moment. how would this work? i'm going to give you some more big figures. 34 million people in this country wear glasses or contact lenses, they have prescriptions for them. 9 million frames are made every year. what it would do is turn that plastic from the fishing nets, they have a family run company in italy that will turn them into glasses frames and a good thing about these is that not only will they be used the first time but if fashion changes and you want to change the way that your eyewear looks, you can send them back to george and the family run company in italy and they will do them in another style eventually so they will get recycled time and time again and they hope that will help clea n again and they hope that will help clean up the ocean floor. plenty more on the programmes tonight at 6:30pm. alex, iwas more on the programmes tonight at 6:30pm. alex, i was at a wedding in your area and one of the regular
viewers suggest that you wear the same shoes every night. is that true? yes, because they're comfy and they are good little workers! but i did hear that that was set so i've been swapping them up a bit now so now it just looks like been swapping them up a bit now so now itjust looks like i've spent a fortune on shoes. i need your teeth, i can't talk either! it's catching! thank you both very much. that's nationwide this evening. if you'd like to see more on any of those stories, you can access them via the bbc iplayer. we go nationwide every weekday afternoon at 4:30pm here. millions of people are going without dental care in england, according to bbc analysis of nhs figures. this includes 1.5 million people who've been unable to get an nhs appointment. nhs england says steps are being taken to tackle the problem. more details from our health
correspondent dominic hughes. desperately needed emergency dentistry. being carried out in a van outside dewsbury town hall. the dentaid charity normally works in developing countries. but today it is helping people like basir afsal, who has had to live with excruciating tooth pain for months. i was in too much pain, nobody could help me. nobody could help me. none of these nhs services, nobody would help me at all. basir is far from alone. over the course of two days, staff saw 50 patients, extracting 20 teeth that were causing pain. any pain there? bbc analysis of data from nhs england shows that 4.3 million adults in england are going without dental care. of these, 1.5 million people have tried and failed to get treatment on the nhs in the last two years. the rest are either stuck on waiting lists, put off by the costs, or cannot find a dentist. people like lindsay, with toothache, cannot find someone to deal with. the 111 service is who they phone,
they're usually kept on the phone for hours and usually offered an appointment a couple of weeks down the line. if you're in acute pain and can't sleep and need the tooth out, that's why we come. all day this charity van has been busy seeing people who are in real pain because of tooth decay. but for all those patients this is the only way they can access emergency nhs dental care here in dewsbury. the british dental association says there are similar issues in wales. in northern ireland and scotland where checkups are free, it's less of a problem. this is a crisis. we have been saying it is a crisis for a long while and we have been ignored. it is not only about funding, but funding obviously needs to match what the rest of the nhs is getting. sadly at the moment, we see a situation where people are expecting more for less and really we cannot
carry on like that. if we carry on with more for less, we will eventually see the complete demise of the nhs as far as dentistry goes. but for many in dewsbury, this kind of emergency treatment is all that is available. a charity filling the gaps left by the nhs. to bring you an update on boris johnson's aims to change national insurance rules so workers won't pay until they earn 12 and a half thousand pounds, something he announced in teesside, he promises the party will put the pressure to ensure low tax for working people, he has confirmed to the bbc it would be raised to £9,500 as a threshold in the first budget of a tory government with no timetable yet for the additional £3000. labour has said people relying on local services would be paying the price of that, but just some clarification from the prime minister.
it is feared that the bushfires in australia have injured hundreds of animals. you might find these images upsetting. it's been one of the worst seasons for bushfires in australia in many years. millions of hectares have burned, hundreds of homes have been destroyed and there's been a devastating toll on wildlife. other animals can run from the flames. the koala can't, and this slow—moving marsupial is trapped. he'll need rescuing, won't he? the woman behind that voice takes the shirt off her back and rescues the animal, taking care to avoid getting hurt herself. just careful of his claws. can you get water out of my car? and then she gives him first aid, dousing him in water to try to treat his burns. do you want to put him
in the blanket and bring him out of the hot stuff? yeah, i will. this animal was lucky. it was taken off to a local animal hospital for treatment. but it's believed that hundreds of koalas have died in the bushfires. this is a dog called bear. he's been specially trained to sniff out koalas and other small marsupials so they can be rescued from the flames. this is a young koala that's recovering well after being rescued. it was found curled up and badly dehydrated. but it's hoped it will eventually be able to go back to its home in the wild. andy moore, bbc news. a look at the headlines on afternoon live: borisjohnson pledges a significant cut to national insurance payments, if the conservatives win the election. setting out their election manifesto, the liberal democrats
promise they'll be able to invest billions of pounds in public services by giving a clear choice over brexit. the us ambassador to the eu says the president was behind pressure on ukraine to investigate joe biden. here's your business headlines on afternoon live. amazon and ebay have failed to stop toys from being listed for sale which appear to have been declared unsafe by the eu, according to which?. the consumer group is asking the next government to make online marketplaces legally responsible for stopping dangerous products from being listed. contractors and other flexible workers should enjoy a higher minimum wage than those with secure employment — that's according to the demos think tank. they also suggest that banks or trade unions could give benefits such as holiday pay. access to loans and mortgages should also be easier. the boss of emirates, the biggest long—haul airline in the world, says it took too long time for them to face up to the climate crisis.
speaking at the dubai airshow, sir tim clark says he's a climate change believer. so the boss of emirate has been speaking — saying that it's taken a long time for the airline to face up to the challenges of climate change. that's a big statement coming from a man in his position. absolutely. emirates is the biggest long—haul airline in the world. it's thought it burns through an astonishing 100 million barrels of oil each year. and speaking at the dubai airshow, he said that real solution for the industry and the planet is to find viable alternates to fossil fuels. however, earlier we spoke to adriaan korthuis — co—founder of climate focus, an environmental consultancy working with airlines — who sad that a good, first, interim steps for airlines if offsetting their carbon emissions.
carbon offsetting can only be a temporary measure. when you speak about what to do in the end, it is about what to do in the end, it is about technological measures like flying more electrically or with different fuels but the solutions are not there tomorrow so if you wa nt to are not there tomorrow so if you want to act now, offsetting is the last thing you can do and so it is good if you want to take responsibility now that they just use the one instrument that is available for them now, which is carbon offsetting. i would definitely love to hear more from all other airlines to follow the example that has been set now. so carbon offsetting is a good first step? and this from the charity currently working with easyjet on this? yup, and this week, easyjet made the dramatic claim that they are the world's first carbon—free airline. but by that, they means that they will compensate for its fuel emissions by investing in programmes that increase tree
plantation or set up wind or solar power projects. in the meantime, the airline has also signed a deal with plane maker airbus to research hybrid and electric aircraft. let's talk more now to richard dunbar is senior investment strategist for aberdeen standard investments. are brave, big comment coming from the emirates boss sir tim clark today. the airline industry is such a big, lucrative industry. he said he has no climate change denier and that the future of the industry lies with the development of synthetic fuels. he has little faith in electric battery alternatives and biofuels. how important is it for ailrines to focus on that r&d rather than carbon offsetting? i think the airlines are going to do both. as you say, easyjet and emirates through sir tim clark are discussing this openly and trying to ta ke discussing this openly and trying to take it forward. the airline said at
the epicentre of the climate debate are the focus of focus of much of the ire of those who have any of you in the climate debate so it is interesting that they have started to ta ke interesting that they have started to take a greater lead on this. tim is sceptical of some of the new biofuels and electric vehicles, that technology is not going to work for the airline industry, he is more hopeful on focused technology on fuels and to be fair to the airline industry, its a much more efficient industry, its a much more efficient industry than it was in terms of the sorts of planes they are using in the technology that is backing those planes, so they are better than they were, carbon offset does take them to one stage forward but there is a lot more work to do done —— to be done on the technology side. let's talk about the diy retailer kingfisher which has been the biggest father on the ftse100, as low as 7%. this is after it reported
a worsening fall in underlying sales in the third quarter. did the disappointing numbers surprise markets? it does and there was a mix of the general economic environment in which kingfisher is operating, it's a tricky one both in the uk and in france as well and overseas, but there are also some elements of areas that they could have done better in terms of the it work we have been doing which hasn't paid off as quickly as hoped, some supply chain work they have been working on has not paid off as quickly as hoped but nevertheless bringing those two external factors under more control, these results were more disappointing. sales falls in france particularly, generally sales falls in the uk, but with a bright spot at screw fix, but generally a downbeat message internally and in a general economic environment that is not conducive to helping the sorts of companies anyway.
and fast fashion leader primark has been hitting out at environmental critics, saying farfrom being the problem, they are the solution as their are much greener than buying online due to their highly efficient global supply chains which make them less polluting than online delievery vans. but not everyone agrees? yes, it is an interesting take from this company. it might be not the consensus view on what they are saying, they bring all their stock into the home depot is if you like by sea rather than by air so it's much more efficient. they would observe the packaging waste and half—full va ns observe the packaging waste and half—full vans being used to deliver online deliveries generally. they are taking a different view and
saying they are much more thoughtful about their product range than perhaps they have been before so different view ensuring that this is a more complex issue than sometimes we think. will have to leave it there, but good to talk to you. there wasn't a huge amount of reaction to that debate last night between jeremy corbyn reaction to that debate last night betweenjeremy corbyn and boris johnson in terms of the markets. alice, thank you very much. we've had reaction in president trump —— from president trump to the latest on that impeachment inquiry in washington. this is what he had to say. a quick comment on what is happening with ambassador gordon sondland, i just noticed one thing and i would
say, that means it's all over. what do you want from ukraine, he asks me, screaming? what do you want from ukraine? i keep hearing all these different ideas and theories. this is ambassador gordon sondland speaking to me, to which i turned off the television. what do you want from ukraine? i keep hearing all these different ideas and theories, what do you want, what do you want? it was a very short and abrupt conversation that he had with me. they said he was not in a good mood. i'm always in a good mood, i don't know what that means. he just said, now he's talking about what's my response, so he's going, what do you want, what do you want? i hear all these theories, what do you want? i know he is my response that he gave. ready? do you have the cameras
rolling? i want nothing. that's what i want from ukraine. that's what i said. iwant i want from ukraine. that's what i said. i want nothing. i said it twice. so he goes, he asks me the question, what do you want? i keep hearing all these things, what do you want? i don't know him very well, i have not spoken to him much, this is not a man i know well, seems like a nice guy, though, but i don't know him well. he was with other candidates, he actually supported other candidates, not me, came in late, but he is my response. if you wa nt fa ke late, but he is my response. if you want fake news, cover it properly. i say to the ambassador is response, i wa nt say to the ambassador is response, i want nothing, i want nothing, i want no quid pro quo. tell president zele ns ky to no quid pro quo. tell president zelensky to do the right thing, so here's my answer. i want nothing! i wa nt here's my answer. i want nothing! i want nothing. i want no quid pro
quo. tell zelinsky to do the right thing. then he says, this is the final word from the president of the united states. i want nothing! thank you, folks. have a good time. that brings an end to the programme today. now it's time for a look at the weather with sarah keith lucas. it's been a largely dry but fairly chilly day today. cloud around, too, but there were brighter spells trying to break through. as we head through the rest of this afternoon and this evening, there is a little bit of patchy rain to cover some parts of the uk, northern ireland and the southwest of england in particular. elsewhere, some dry weather as we head through this evening and overnight. one or two show as possible for parts of eastern scotland. there will be a bit more of a cloud, it won't be quite as cold. still, temperatures
close to freezing, particularly in the countryside, a touch of frost possible in parts of scotland and northern england but most places frost three. during thursday, a slow—moving weather front brings outbreaks of rain for the southwest of england and southwest wales and parts of northern ireland and eastern scotland, but elsewhere, largely dry, a fair amount of cloud, temperatures are still rather chilly for this time of year, seven to 10 celsius.
this is bbc news at five: the conservatives promise to cut national insurance for workers — if they're elected. boris johnson's announcement could see workers eventually saving up to £465 a year — although the full timescale has not been set out. we are going to lie thousand £500 threshold initially. the eventual ambition is to get to the 12,000 threshold. the initial cut that we are making does offer a five and a pound coin for every working person. we'll be analysing what the cut would mean to workers, and how much it would cost. our other main stories on bbc news at five: the liberal democrats say staying in the eu would give the economy a £50 billion boost — as leaderjo swinson launches their manifesto. liberal democrats will be