tv CBS This Morning CBS November 20, 2019 7:00am-8:59am PST
after the zelensky meeting, i his recollection but he ecall the specifics of s senior has made clear it would be easier to do that if he could get those documents from the state department and the white house and so far that is not happening, which, of course, our conversation, but i believe begs the question why not. the issue of investigations was the white house has said time probably a part of that agenda or meeting. and time again that it's not going to lend credibility to also on july 26th, shortly after this investigation, but we have to ask, if, you know, there is our kiev meetings, i spoke by no wrong doing on the part of phone with president trump. the white house, which finally, this administration, on the part of the president, why not? finally shared certain call why not share what you do have dates and times with my as evidence and testimony from attorneys, confirms this. people who know what was going the call lasted five minutes. on. all of those people, norah, were i remember i was at a restaurant in kiev and i have no reason to mentioned by name, by the ambassador today and it really doubt that this conversation matters because they've already included the subject of been on the record trying to investigations. again, given mr. giuliani's distance themselves from this demand that president zelensky claim that sondland is making today. make a public statement about in fact, i remember distinctly investigations, i knew that asking acting chief of staff investigations were important to president trump. mick mulvaney whether he we did not discuss any remembers any preconditions for classified information. a white house meeting between other witnesses have recently
president zelensky and president shared their recollection of trump and from the podium he overhearing this call. for the most part, i have no said no, absolutely not. i never brought up the word reason to doubt their accounts. it's true that the president burisma in any of my conversations with anybody. speaks loudly at times, and it's let's move on to secretary of also true -- i think we state, mike pompeo. you will remember he made primarily discussed asop rocky. television appearances and he acted like he didn't know what it's true that the president the interviewer was talking likes to use colorful language. about when asked about the call anyone who has met with him for and the pressure on ukraine and any reasonable amount of time knows this. so now sondland is presenting while i cannot remember the precise details, again, the evidence in exhibits that white house has not allowed me dispute that. it's important to note, norah, that the president himself has to see any readouts of the call already stumbled when he's and the july 25th call did not addressed ambassador sondland. in the beginning when all we had strike me as significant at the time. as evidence were those text actually, actually, i would have been more surprised if president messages that showed sondland trump had not mentioned said there was no quid pro quo, investigations, particularly at the president's direction, given what we were hearing from the president said that sondland mr. giuliani about the was a great american, someone president's concerns. who was highly respected and however, i have no recollection then after sondland amended his of discussing vice president testimony and said his memory biden or his son on that call or was refreshed and there was a after the call ended.
quid pro quo, the president i know that members of this said, i hardly know the committee frequently frame these gentleman. he also mentioned recently complicated issues in the form during a press conference that of a simple question. he has no recollection of a phone call that sondland just was there a quid pro quo? as i testified previously with described and this isn't just any phone call. according to the ambassador, regard to the requested white this was a very informal phone house call and the white house meeting, the answer is, yes. call, something that would only unfold if you were familiar with mr. giuliani conveyed to the person. secretary perry, ambassador he was asked, is it true that volker and others that president you told the president that trump wanted a public statement president zelensky loves your from president zelensky expletive and he laughed and committing to investigations of said, that sounds like something i would say, yes. so this is not, you know, burisma and the 2016 election. mr. giuliani expressed those something that you can just talk like that with just anybody. requests directly to the there are a lot of questions here and the president so far ukrainians, and mr. giuliani also expressed those requests directly to us. has not weighed in today. we all understood that these >> they were close enough to prerequisites for the white share expletives on the phone. house call and the right white there was a way they house meeting reflected communicated with one another. i think the way that sondland president trump's desires and put it, they regularly communicated in -- there was a requirements. lot of four-letter words, in
this case three letter words. within my state department emails there's a july 19th there was a shared friendship email. between the two of them that this email was sent -- this they spoke together that way. one other point there, we did email was sent to secretary see, i understand, lieutenant pompeo, secretary perry, brian colonel vindman, who made some damming remarks yesterday, he mccormack, who is secretary showed up at work today at the white house? >> that's right. perry's chief of staff at the our cbs cameraman greg larson time, miss kenna, who is the was the only one to capture this video and it's important because acting -- pardon me, the you can tell a lot by lieutenant executive secretary for pompeo, colonel vindman's body language. mr. mulvaney and mr. mulvaney's he saw our camera and positioned senior adviser rob blair. himself in a way that almost was a lot of senior officials. a lot of senior officials. like a conversation, no words here is my exact quote from that email. were spoken, but he smiled, he made clear that he wanted to be i talked to zelensky just now. seen, he was with his twin brother theyook a he is prepared to receive potus's call. selfie together with the west will assure him that he intends wing in the background as they to run a fully transparent walked into work. >> i'm just going to -- >> i'm just going to cue our investigation and will turn over control room because we do have every stone.
he would greatly appreciate a that exclusive cbs video of call prior to sunday so that he can put out some media about a colonel vindman showing up at the white house today because friendly and productive call, no that as you point out has raised details, prior to ukraine the question about whether he election on sunday. will be retaliated against. sources close to vindman have suggested perhaps he may have to move on to a military base to chief of staff mulvaney protect his family, but appears responded. he and his brother are still i asked the nsc to set it up for working at the white house. >> it sure does. tomorrow. he is apparently happy about it, everyone was in the loop. at least about you can see right it was no secret. there, he's looking over. this is the other moment i was everyone was informed via email describing before they head into work, you're going to watch them on july 19th, days before the right here, stop one more time, to make sure our camera catches presidential call. as i communicated to the team, i them. and so i think, you know, it's defiant and it sends a message told president zelensky in advance that assurances to run a that here he is and remember, fully transparent election and the white house says that, you know, he is still on the payroll turn over every stone were and he is. necessary in his call with if that changes, norah, that will present a whole other host president trump. on july 19th in a whatsapp of questions. but you're right, he's here with message between ambassador taylor, ambassador volker and his brother. >> if he were retaliated
me, ambassador volker stated, against, absolutely. thank you. i want to bring in margaret had breakfast with rudy this brennan here, because one of the details we learned today from morning. that's ambassador volker and rudy giuliani. the ambassador is this idea he teeing up call with yermak said several times, everybody was in the loop. monday. he said that a couple times. that's senior adviser yermak. must have helped. >> he said it three or four most important is for zelensky times. >> yeah. >> and in his opening statement to say that he will help he also sort of detailed for a investigation and address any guy who says he doesn't take a specific personnel issues, if lot of notes, he went back with there are any. on august 10th, the next day, his lawyers and checked his e-mails and text messages talks mr. yermak texted me. about communicating with the secretary of state mike pompeo. once we have a date, which is a what do you think his motivation was in doing that? what's the practical effect now date for the white house meeting, we will call for a for the secretary of state? >> well if he has read any of press briefing announcing his press coverage, ambassador upcoming visit and outlining sondland knows that even vision for the reboot of the republicans have started to distance themselves from him in u.s./ukraine relationship. terms of his credibility as a including, among other things, witness because it would be easy burisma and election meddling to say that he was just and investigations. freelancing. you heard tim morrison talk this is from mr. yermak to me. about him yesterday as sort of a
free radical the phrased used. the following day, august 11th, sondland here is saying no, actually, it went up the chain and this is critical, i sent an of command, directly to the email to counselor brechbuhl and secretary of state, not just rudy giuliani, and he says that lisa kenna. members of the national security council were aware. that was him responding in some lisa ke inna was frequently use ways. >> what about giuliani? he says they had to work with as a path way to secretary giuliani but they didn't really want to work with giuliani and pompeo. she would print them out and put at one point he says if he had them in front of him. known about giuliani and the with the subject, ukraine, i fact he would later be under wrote, mike, referring to mike investigation for his participation with the other two pompeo, kurt and i negotiated a men, he would have, he said, not wanted to work with him, i'm statement from zelensky to be paraphrasing there. >> right. delivered for our review in a this also sort of destroys -- the fact that rudy giuliani now day or two. has these problems is linked to the contents will hopefully make this probe being carried out by the southern district of new york and two of his business the boss happy enough -- the associates have been indicted, boss being the president -- to really in some ways destroys the authorize an invitation. narratives that republicans have zelensky plans to have a big laid out this was about battling corruption when you are saying a presser, press conference, on man at the center of this was the openness subject, including part of a corrupt act as represented by the u.s. justice department filings here. specifics, next week. all of which referred to the
he also in some ways you have seen that contradiction this was 2016 and the burisma. about corruption but also that as jim jordan who is one of the president's staunchest defenders ms. kenna replied, gordon, i'll said on "face the nation," rudy pass to the secretary. thank you. giuliani was not. again, everyone was in the loop. he does not work for the u.s. taxpayer and does not have an oath to the constitution, he's a curiously, and this was very interesting to me, on august personal attorney and he has personal financial interests. 26th, shortly before his visit >> nancy, we're getting ready to hear from the republicans, what to kiev, ambassador bolton's do you expect we'll see? what avenues do they have? office requested mr. giuliani's >> well, they are probably going contact information from me. to point out that sondland frustrated the democrats this i sent ambassador bolton the morning in a very key way. information directly. democrats tried again and again to get sondland to concede that he got directions directly from they requested mr. giuliani's the president to pressure the contact information on august ukrainians in the many phone 26th. calls he had with the president, but he, again and again, insisted that the president never directly told him that, that he inferred it, he came to understand it, that he connected i was first informed the white
house was withholding security the dots, but what democrats aid to ukraine during have really been hoping to nail down is that the president conversations with ambassador himself was directly involved in taylor on july 19, 2019. crafting and executing this quid however, as i testified before, i was never able to obtain a pro quo and sondland continues to dispute the accounts of many clearance regarding the specific reason for the hold, whether it other witnesses who say that was bureaucratic in nature, sondland spoke to the president and then conveyed to them that which often happens, or this is what the president reflected some other concern in the interagency process. wanted. investigations in exchange for i never participated in any of releasing the aid and securing a white house meeting. the subsequent dod or dos review so that, no doubt, is going to be top of mind for republicans. meetings that others have democrats are going to say that described, so i can't speak as he's just doing this in order to to what was discussed in those protect the president. meetings. one other interesting thing that nonetheless, before the september 1st warsaw meeting, sondland did today that the ukrainians had become aware continues to put him at odds with the other witnesses, norah, that security funds had yet to is that he said that he didn't be dispersed. understand this connection in the absence of any credible between burisma and the bidens. explanation for the hold, i came that he never heard that president wanted an investigation into the bidens, to the conclusion that the aid, he heard the president wanted an investigation into burisma. like the white house visit, was well, frankly, that is just simply not believable because
everyone else has testified that jeopardized. in preparation for the september they knew that burisma is the 1st warsaw meeting, i asked company that was paying the vice secretary pompeo whether a president's son, hunter biden, to sit on its board and that face-to-face conversation between trump and zelensky would sondland himself is the one in help to break the logjam. various meetings with ukrainians telling them, you need to this is when president trump was announce an investigation into still intending to travel to the bidens in order to get the warsaw. meeting you want with president specifically, on august 22nd, i trump. >> didn't ambassador volker say emailed secretary pompeo the same thing yesterday and tim morrison too, like i didn't know directly, copying secretary that burisma meant the bidens? >> you know, volker did. kenna. i wrote -- this is my email to morrison indicated that he secretary pompeo -- should we block time in warsaw for a short understood. frankly democrats didn't push volker on that front, but i can tell you a lot of lawmakers pull-aside for potus to meet think that's not very believable either. they say anyone who was involved zelensky? i would ask zelensky to look him even tangentially in ukraine in the eye and tell him that policy understood when president once ukraine's new justice folks trump or rudy giuliani brought are in place in mid-september, up burisma, that there's only one reason they wanted burisma in particular, this one energyc that zelensky -- he, zelensky, should be able to move forward publicly and with confidence on
those issues of importance to biden. >> all right. nancy cordes there as we watch potus and the u.s. the ambassador and his attorney hopefully that will help break take center stage in this huge the logjam. room inside the house of representatives. the secretary replied, yes. i followed up the next day and the hearing has come to asking to get 10 to 15 minutes order. >> ranking member nunes for 45 on the warsaw schedule for this. minutes of questions. i said, we'd like to know when >> i thank the gentleman. it's locked so that i can tell for those of you watching at zelensky and brief him. home that was not a bathroom break. that was chance for the democrats to go out and hold a executive secretary kenna replied, i will try for sure. press conference, ambassador, for all the supposed bombshells that were in your opening moreover, given my concerns about the security aid, i have testimony. i want to get back to the facts no reason to dispute that portion of senator johnson's of the matter here and the thing recent letter in which he recalls conversations he i that the democrats have been had on august 30th. by the end of august my belief unwilling to accept is that was that if ukraine did their operatives got campaign something to demonstrate a dirt from ukrainians in the 2016 serious intention to fight election. corruption, and specifically now they know it. they know it's true. addressing burisma and the 2016, we have financial records that show it. then the hold on military aid
would be lifted. so they were -- the democrats were heavily involved working there was a september 1st with ukrainians to dirty up the meeting with president zelensky trump campaign in 2016. in warsaw. so ambassador, i want to go unfortunately, president trump's attendance at the warsaw meeting through a few of the incidents was canceled due to hurricane that we know. i know you may not know all about them. you may know about them now. dorian. vice president pence intendatte but i want to walk through some of those examples of why the president may be very upset with instead. i mentioned to vice president pence that the delay in aid had ukraine and think that they're a become tied to the issue of country out to get him as i investigations. i recall mentioning that before the zelensky meeting. think both you've said that and ambassador volker have said that during the actual meeting, from that may 23rd meeting. president zelensky raised the issue of security assistance directly with vice president the first question i have is, pence and the vice president were you aware of the anti-trump said he would speak to president trump about it. based on my previous efforts by dnc operative communication with secretary pompeo, i felt comfortable sharing my concerns with alexandria chalupa? >> i am not aware of it. mr. yermak. it was a very, very brief >> in -- there's a 2017 article pull-aside conversation that happened within a few seconds. i told mr. yermak that i believe that also quotes a ukrainian that the resumption of u.s. aid
would likely not occur until parliamentarian art demenko saying, quote, it was clear they ukraine took some kind of action were supporting, meaning on the public statement that we ukraine, supporting hillary had been discussing for many clinton's candidacy and did weeks. everything from organizing as my other state department meetings from the clinton team colleagues have testified, this to criticizing trump. security aid was critical to i think they simply didn't meet ukraine's defense and should not with the trump campaign because have been delayed. they thought hillary would win. i expressed this view to many during this period, but my goal at the time was to do what was do you know that ukrainian necessary to get the aid official that stated that? released, to break the logjam. >> i don't. >> were you aware ukrainian i believe that the public ambassador to the u.s. wrote an statement we have been op-ed in the hill during the discussing for weeks was essential to advancing that 2016 presidential campaign goal. you know, i really regret that criticizing then candidate the ukrainians were placed in trump? >> not aware. >> you know that now after the that predicament, but i do not last few months? >> correct. regret doing what i could to try to break the logjam and to solve >> so probably one of the more the problem. disturbing ones, the ukraine internal affairs minister, i mentioned at the outset that mocked and disparaged then throughout these events we kept candidate trump on facebook and twitter. state department leadership and
others apprised of what we were were you aware that ushiancoe, a doing. state department was fully supportive of our engagement and was aware that a commitment to parliamentarian admitted part of his mission in spread issing the investigations was among the so-called black ledger a issues we were pursuing. to provide just two examples. disputed document reported to reveal corruption by a former trump campaign official was to on june 5th, the day after the undermine the trump candidacy? u.s./eu mission hosted our independence day, we did it a >> i wasn't aware. month early, acting assistant >> the black ledger was used in the 2016 election to dirty up a secretary phil reeker sent an campaign associate and later email to me, to secretary perry mueller didn't use that as and to others forwarding some evidence in his report on positive media coverage of election meddling. president zelensky's attendance at our event. mr. reeker wrote, and i quote, so knowing all these facts from this headline underscores the high-ranking ukrainian importance and timeliness of officials, ambassador, probably makes a little more sense now as zelensky's visit to brussels and to why the president may think the critical, and the critical, that there's problems with perhaps historic role of the ukraine and that ukraine was out to get him. dinner and engagement gordon is that correct? coordinated. thank you for your participation >> i understand your -- i and dedication to this effort. understand your point, yes. chairman. >> you said -- you said in your
months later, on september 3rd, deposition, i'm going to make sure this was your -- read it i sent secretary pompeo an email back to you, on page 279 for to express my appreciation for his joining a series of meetings your legal team, quote, they are all corrupt. in brussels following the warsaw this is your -- this is what you trip. i wrote, mike, thanks for said about your conversation with the president. this is your words about what the president told you. >> this is the may 23rd meeting? schlepping to europe. i think it was really important and the chemistry seems promising. really appreciate it. >> that's correct. secretary pompeo replied the >> they are all corrupt, terrible people and i don't want next day, on wednesday, september 4th, quote, all good. to spend any time with that and he also said they tried to take you're doing great work. me down. >> that's correct. >> >> when they try to take him keep banging away. state department leadership expressed total support for our down, i think any logical person efforts to engage the new ukrainian administration. that wants to do a two plus two equals four games would say that look, i've never doubted the was in the 2016 election, wasn't strategic value of strengthening it? >> i believe that's what he was our alliance with ukraine. referring to, yes, ranking and at all times, at all times, member. >> so during all this time, and our efforts were in good faith remember, in the spring, the and fully transparent to those tasked with overseeing them. democrats russia hoax witch hunt
is still ongoing, they're still our efforts were reported and claiming that president trump is approved and not once do i recall encountering an a russian agent, they're out to get president trump at the time, his personal attorney is then objection. it remains an honor to serve the people of the united states as interested in trying to figure their united states ambassador out who are these ukrainians to the european union. trying to get to my candidate. i look forward to answering the as those of us, the republicans committee's questions. thank you. on this committee, who are also trying to get to the bottom of who were the sources and the >> we will now proceed with the steele dossier the democrats full round of questions as have paid for, the house republicans wanted to know that all through the spring and even the summer of -- and even as of detailed. 45 minutes by chairman and today we would still like to followed by 45 minutes by know, that's why we've subpoenaed the dnc operatives ranking member. following that, unless i they refuse to subpoena. we sent a letter this morning. express, equal time, we'll i doubt we'll see those proceed under five-minute rule subpoenas. we want to know exactly, to get and every member will have five minutes to ask questions. to the bottom of exactly who i recognize myself or majority were these democratic operatives counsel for first round of dirtying up the trump campaign in 2016. they can't get over that the president would send his personal attorney over there to questions. ambassador sondland, there's a lot of new material for us to try to get to the bottom of
get through but i want to start that. ambassador, you had very few out with a few dealings with rudy giuliani, a few text messages? >> a few text messages and a few goldman. youd you found youf phone calls, right. insious otime.n you tell us whay >> so the whistleblower, trying to put together here with their timeline they seem to have a this continuum of insidiousness? timeline problem, because the >> well, mr. chairman, when we whistleblower that only they left the oval office, i believe know, who they won't subpoena, on may 23rd, the request was who clearly mr. vindman knows who they blocked testimony very generic for an yesterday and would not allow mr. vindman to answer our investigation of corruption in a very vanilla sense. questions, that whistleblower and dealing with some of the says on july 25th, that there oligarch problems in ukraine, which were long-standing problems. and then as time went on, more were all these promises being specific items got added to the made, yet the -- i forget what they call it -- the drug deal that three amigos were cooking menu, including the burisma and up seems to be their latest, you're part of the three amigos 2016 election meddle, in the drug deal, ambassador. specifically, the dnc server, were you aware of any drug deal specifically. and over this -- over this on july 25th when the phone call actually occurred? continuum, it became more and >> i don't know about any drug
more difficult to secure the deal. >> right. white house meeting because more and did you know you were part conditions were being placed on of the three amigos? >> i am. the white house meeting. i am a proud part of the three >> and then, of course, on july amigos. >> the same thing ambassador 25th, although you were not volker said yesterday. privy to the call, another because by the time that the phone call that supposedly the condition was added, that being the investigatio? whistleblower claims was the >> i w did n kno that the reason, was the original quid pro quo, has now got down to condit it n i any w we're now a month later where utn you did -->> inse you're involved and their quid correct. >> so, on this continuum, the pro quo has gotten down to the beginning of the continuum low level of well, they want a begins on may 23rd where the president instructs you to talk statement and you didn't even to rudy? >> correct. >> and you understood that as a know about anything to do with -- on july 25th, you knew direction by the president that you needed to satisfy the nothing about military aid being concerns that rudy giuliani would express to you about what withheld. >> i knew military aid was the president wanted in ukraine? >> not to me. withheld beginning i believe on to the entire group, volker, july 18th when ambassador taylor perry and myself, correct. told both of us that that was the case. >> on july -- you don't know >> now, in your opening about -- you were to the on the statement you stated there was a july 25th call? quid pro quo between the white >> i was not. house meeting and the >> where the aid doesn't come up investigations into burisma and the 2016 election that giuliani was publicly promoting, is that at all. >> again, i just read the read
right? >> correct. out when everybody else did. >> everybody testified it was on the july 25th call there was no >> and, in fact, you say other senior officials in the state aid discussed on the july 25th call. so then you're in the process, department and the chiefs of you have no idea that this is tied to burisma or anybody else. staffs office including mick you say you don't realize that mulvaney, secretary pompeo, were aware of this quid pro quo that until the end of august. in order to get the white house >> i didn't realize that aid was meeting, they were going to hav president wanted? >> correct. tied. the burisma in 2016 piece was and those, again, are investigations into16 much earlier, ranking member. burisma/the bide2016/burisma. >> i'm glad you bring up burisma. another issue that democrats don't want to go into. the bidens did not come up. they refuse to call in hunter >> you would ultimately learn biden. hunter biden could, to get to the bottom of all of this. that burisma meant the bidens when you saw the call record? he could come in and talk about >> today i know exactly what it whether or not it was appropriate for him to receive means. i didn't know at the time. over $50,000 a >> and then on july 26th you confirm you did, indeed, have dad was vice president and when the conversation with president trump from a restaurant in kiev they actually were able to stop that david holmes testified about last week, is that right? and get an investigator fired. >> correct.
>> and you have no doubt -- no they could call in hunter biden. reason to doubt mr. holmes' they don't want to do it. recounting of your conversation let's talk about burisma, with the president? >> the only part of mr. holmes' ambassador. i know you're the ambassador to the eu. recounting that i take exception i think some of the members with is i do not recall later will get into whether or mentioning the bidens. not it was appropriate for you that did not enter my mind. to be in ukraine or not. i believe it was. it was burisma and 2016 i think you have a clear mandate to do it. elections. >> you have no reason to believe mr. holmes would make that up, you wouldn't be the first if that's what he recalls you ambassador to actually be interested in burisma. saying, you have no reason to question that, do you? did you know that in september >> i never recall saying biden. 2015, then ambassador to ukraine jeffrey piat publicly called for i never recall saying biden. >> but the rest of mr. holmes' recollection is consistent with an investigation into slavisky, your own? >> well, i can't testify as to the president of burisma, the what mr. holmes might or might ukrainian ambassador, appointed not have heard through the phone. i don't know how he heard the by president obama, in ukraine. conversation. >> are you familiar with his >> i wasn't aware of that, no. testimony? >> vaguely, yes. >> and the only exception you >> you were to the aware of it? take is to the mention of the >> no. >> you would not be the first name biden? >> correct. one to be mentioning that investigations should be done on burisma because it happened during the obama administration. >> and i think you said in your did you know that financial records show burisma routed more
testimony this morning that not only is it correct that the than $3 million to the american accounts tied to hunter biden? president brought up with you investigations on the phone the day after the july 25th call, >> i did not know that. but you would have been >> did you know that burisma's surprised had he not brought that up, is that right? american lawyers tried to secure >> right. a meeting with the new state because we'd been hearing about it from rudy and we presumed prosecutor the same day his rudy was getting it from the president, so it seemed like a predecessor viktor shokin the logical conclusion. vice president wanted fire was announced. >> did not know that. >> mr. holmes also testified that you told him president trump doesn't care about >> we're not going to get to the ukraine, he only cares about big answer to many of these stuff that relates to him questions because the witnesses that need to clarify what the personally. i take it from your comment, you democrats were doing in 2016, don't dispute that part of the we're not going to be able to conversation? >> well, he made that clear in visit with those witnesses. the may 23rd meeting, that he and so it's an inconvenient was not particularly fond of ukraine. and we had a lot of heavy truth that the democrats don't want to admit, their operatives lifting to do to get them to engage. >> so, you don't dispute that that were dirtying up the trump part of mr. holmes' recollection? campaign using ukrainian sources >> no. in 2016 and they do not want us to get to the bottom of it, they don't want you, ambassador, to >> in august when you worked get to the bottom of it, they with rudy giuliani and a top don't want the president's ukrainian aide to draft a public
personal attorney even though statement for president zelensky he's under a special council to issue, that includes the announcement of investigations into burisma, you understood investigation, they fed into the that was required by president trump before he would grant the fbi, that we've dealt with for white house meeting to president zelensky? over three years, they don't >> that's correct. want to get to the bottom of >> and the ukrainians understood that as well? that, ambassador. >> i believe they did. i think mr. castro has some >> and you informed secretary questions for you. pompeo about that statement as >> good morning. ambassador, how are you? well? >> i did. >> good morning, mr. caster. >> you're here all day on the >> later in august you told 17th, late into the night. secretary pompeo that president i thank you for your cooperation zelensky would be prepared to with the investigation. tell president trump that his did the president ever tell you new justice officials would be personally about any able to announce matters of preconditions for anything? interest to the president, which >> no. could break the logjam. >> so the president never told you about any preconditions for when you say, matters of the aid to be released? interest to the president, you >> no. >> the president never told any mean the investigations that president trump wanted, is that white house meeting? right? >> correct. >> and that involved 2016 and >> personally, no. >> the -- you said you didn't burisma or the bidens? have your records or documents >> 2016 and burisma. from the state department but if you did there wouldn't be any document or record that ties >> when you're talking about breaking the log jam, you're president trump personally to any of this, correct? talking about the log jam over the security assistance,y ekt? >> i don't want to speculate >> i was talking log jam what would be --
>> your documents or records? generically because nothing was >> i don't recall anything like moving. >> but that included the that, no. >> okay. you testified, mr. giuliani's security assistance, did it not? >> correct. >> based on the context of that requests for a quid pro quo for email, this was not the first time you had discussed these investigations with secretary pompeo, was it? the white house meeting, and you ind katsds that you believe that >> no. was -- he was evincing president >> he was aware of the connections he was making between the investigations and the white house meeting and trump's interests, correct? security assistance? >> yes. >> my contact with mr. giuliani began, as i said, very late in >> did he ever take issue with the process after august 1st, you and say, no, that connection when i was first introduced to is not there or you're wrong? >> not that i recall. via text from ambassador volker. we had already begun those discussions, i believe, with the >> now, you mentioned you also ukrainians prior to august 1st, so everything was being funneled had a conversation with vice president pence before his through others including mr. volker. meeting with president zelensky in warsaw. >> but you testified that mr. and that you raised the concern you had as well that the giuliani was expressing the desires of the president, security assistance was being correct? >> that's our understanding. withheld because of the >> how did you know that? president's desire to get a who told you? commitment from zelensky to >> well, when the president pursue these political says, talk to my personal investigations. what did you say to the vice
president? attorney and then mr. giuliani, >> i was in a briefing with as his personal attorney, makes several people, and i just spoke certain requests or demands, we up and i said, it appears that assume it's coming from the everything is stalled until this president. i don't -- i'm not testifying that i heard the presidentell statement gets made. something -- words to that mr. giuliani to tells us. effect. and that's what i believed to be if that's your question. >> but at your deposition you the case based on, you know, the said the question was at the may work that the three of us had 23rd meeting when the president been doing, volker, perry and said go talk to rudy, you myself, and the vice president nodded like, you know, he -- he responded, he didn't even say go heard what i said. and that was pretty much it, as i recall. talk. he said, talk to rudy. >> and you understood that the you subsequently said, it was sort of like, i don't want to ukrainians were going to raise talk about this. the security assistance with the it wasn't an order or direction vice president at this meeting? >> i didn't know what they were to talk with mr. giuliani, going to raise, but they did, in correct? >> our conclusion and the fact, raise it, mr. chairman. conclusion of the three of us >> well, it was public by that was that if we did not talk to point that there was a hold on rudy, nothing would move forward the security assistance,y ekt? >> yes. on ukraine. but i didn't know what they were >> okay. but that was may 23rd. going to raise. you never had any personal i didn't get a prebrief from the ukrainians. communications with giuliani >> certainly you knew they were until august, right? concerned about the security >> that's correct. >> and volker was handling, assistance. >> they were concerned, obviously. >> and you wanted to help prepare the vice president for the meeting by letting him know ambassador volker, was --
what you thought was responsible >> volker, perry and others. for the hold on the security assistance? >> okay. >> that's fair. ambassador volker, you testified >> do you recall anything else he's a professional diplomat, the vice president said other correct? than nodding his head when you >> yes, he is. made him aware of this fact? >> and you said you had a great >> no. relationship with him? i don't have a readout of that >> i do yes. >> very smart guy? meeting so i can't remember anything else. >> yes. >> ambassador yovanovitch said >> it was immediately after this he's a brilliant diplomat, in meeting between the vice president and zelensky that you fact. went to speak with yermak and do you agree with that? >> he's pretty smart. you told him similarly that in >> you stated that he's one of order to release the military those people i would hand my wallet to? assistance, they were going to have to publicly announce these >> i would. >> and so did you hear his investigations? >> yeah. testimony yesterday? much has been made of that >> i did not. meeting. >> okay. it really wasn't a meeting. because he -- what happened is everyone got up >> i was busy getting ready for you. after the bilateral meeting between president zelensky and >> he didn't have any evidence vice president pence, and people of any of these preconditions. do what they normally do. they get up, they mill around, and he was the one most engaged they shake hands. and i don't know if i came over with the ukrainians, wasn't he? to yermak or he came over to me, but he said, you know, what's >> yes. >> i mean you testified this was going on here? i said, i don't know. his full-time job, although he it might all be tied together now. was doing it for free. i have -- you know, i have no idea. i was presuming that it was, but >> he was the special envoy. >> you testified you came in and it was a very short conversation. >> well, in that short out of the events, correct? >> that's correct. conversation, as you would later
>> okay. >> your deposition we asked you relay to mr. morrison and ambassador taylor, you informed about your communications with the president. and we asked you whether there mr. yermak that they would need to announce these investigations were so many that it would be in order to get the aid, did you impossible to chronicle and you not? >> well, mr. yermak was already said no, it wasn't that many. working on those investigation -- or on the we wept down the path of statement about the investigations. >> and you confirmed for him building a list of that he needed to get it done if they were going to get the communications you remember with military aid? the president, right? >> i likely did. >> correct. >> and we talked about may 23rd in the oval office. >> yes. >> you mentioned july 25th >> mr. morrison and ambassador before you went to ukrainian you taylor have also relaid a conversation you had with the president following the warsaw called the president but there meeting, in which the president was no material on the 25th relaid to you that there was no call? >> not that i recall. quid pro quo, but nevertheless, >> last friday mr. holmes came unless zelensky went tohe mic in and his testimony refreshed and announced these your recollection? >> yeah. investigations, they would be a what refreshed my recollection stalemate over the aid, is that correct? >> that'co>> and that was an ac when he mentioned a$ap rocky and then all of a sudden it came reflection of your discussion back to me. with the president? >> well, that email was not >> talking about president artfully written. i'm the first to admit. zelensky loving the president and so forth. what i was trying to convey to >> the whole thing came back to
me after he mentioned a$ap ambassador taylor after his rocky. >> and then the next time, you frantic emails to me and to know, we tried to unpack this, the next time you talk with others about the security the president was on the assistance, which, by the way, i agreed with him. i thought it was a very bad idea telephone september 9th according to your deposition, to hold that money. right? >> i may have even spoken to him i finally called the president, i believe it was on the 9th of on september 6th, but again i september. i can't find the records and don't have all the records. i wish i could get them and then they won't provide them to me. answer your questions easily. but i believe i just asked him >> on september 9th, at least at your deposition, you were an open-ended question, mr. chairman, what do you want extremely clear you called the from ukraine? president and said he was i keep hearing all these feeling cranky that day, right? >> he seemed very cranky to me. different ideas and theories and this and that. what do you want? >> you said, in no uncertain and it was a very short, abrupt terms, on the heels of the bill taylor text, right? conversation. he was not in a good mood. >> right. >> and why don't you tell us, and he just said, i want what did the president say to nothing, i want nothing, i want no quid pro quo. you on september 9th that you tell zelensky to do the right remember? thing. something to that effect. >> words to the effect, i decided to ask the president the so, i typed out a text to question in an open-ended fashion because there were so ambassador taylor. and my reason for telling him many different scenarios floating around as to what was this was not to defend what the going on with ukraine. president was saying, not to opine on whether the president rather than ask the president nine different questions is it
was being truthful or this, is it that, i just said, what do you want from ukraine. untruthful, but simply to relay, i've gone as far as i can go. i may have even used a this is the final word i heard from the president of the united four-letter word. he said, i want nothing. states. if you're still concerned, you, i want no quid pro quo. i just want zelensky to do the right thing, to do what he ran ambassador taylor, are still concerned, please get ahold of or words to that effect. and that gave me the impetus to the secretary. maybe he can help. >> i'm not asking about your text message. respond to ambassador taylor i'm asking about your with the text that i sent as i conversations with mr. morrison said to mr. goldman, it was not and ambassador taylor after you spoke with the president, either an artfully written text, i in that call or in a different should have been more specific, call. >> i'm confused, mr. chairman. put it in quotes, something like that, but basically i wanted mr. which conversations with mr. morrison and mr. taylor? >> well, mr. morrison testified taylor, ambassador taylor, to pick up the ball and take it that you related a conversation you had with the president in from there. i had gone as far as i could go. which the president told you no quid pro quo, but president >> you believe the president, zelensky must go to a microphone correct? and announce these >> you know what, i'm not going to characterize whether i investigations. believe or didn't believe. i was trying to convain what he and that he should want to. said on the phone. similarly, you told ambassador >> at that point in time the taylor that, while the president pause in the aid, the aid paused said no quid pro quo, unless for 55 days, there was a news zelensky annoue at presumably a.
article in politico august 28th talking about it, by that point do you have any reason to in time the president had been receiving calls from senators, question those conversations he had been getting pressure to that mr. morrison and ambassador lift the aid, correct? >> that's what i understand, taylor took notes about? >> well, i think it's tied to my text, mr. chairman, because in yes. >> i want to turn back to your my text i think i said something to the effect that he wants opener on page 5. zelensky to do what he ran on, i believe, is transparency, et when you talk about in the cetera, et cetera, which was my clumsy way of saying, he absence of any credible explanation for the suspension wanted -- he wanted these of aid i later came to believe the resumption of security aid announcements to be made. would not occurhere was >> again, ambassador, i'm not asking about your text message. inations.corr i'm asking about what you relaid to ambassador taylor and mr. morrison about your >> correct. >> and youspeculation, right? conversation with the president. do you have any reason to question their recollection of what you told them? >> it was a presumption. >> okay. >> all i can say is that i that you -- it was a guess, in fact, i think you even said this expressed what i told -- or what morning. >> well, i want to say that it the president told me in that goes back to mr. goldman be's text. point or chairman schiff's two and if i relayed anything other
plus two equalled four if my mind at that point. >> you didn't have any evidence than than what's in that text, i of that correct? >> other than the aid wasn't don't recall. >> you have no reason to being released and we weren't getting anywhere with the question ambassador taylor or mr. morrison about what you ukrainians. >> did ambassador volker clue you in that was the issue? wrote in your notes to them? this is a pretty high -- this is >> can you kindly repeat what they wrote? >> i'll have mr. goldman go a pretty serious conclusion you've reached without precise through that with you. >> that would be great. >> let get to the top line here, evidence. >> well, i sent that e-mail to ambassador sondland. you testified that the white secretary pompeo to set up a house meeting that president zelensky desperately wanted, and potential meeting between president trump and president that was very important to zelensky in warsaw and when i president zelensky, was it not? referred to the logjam, i >> absolutely. referred to the log jam in a >> you testified that that very inclusive way. meeting was conditioned, was a everything was jammed up at that quid pro quo, for what the point and secry president wanted these two essentially gave me the green investigations, isn't that right? >> correct. >> and that everybody knew it? light to brief president >> correct. zelensky about making those >> now, that white house meeting was going to be an official announcements. >> okay. meeting between the two we can -- we can turn to that. presidents, correct? >> presumably. >> it would be an oval office that was your e-mail dated what
meeting, presumably? >> a working meeting. >> working meeting. date? >> do you have the page there? >> your e-mail to secretary so an official act? >> correct. >> and in order to perform that official act, donald trump wanted these two investigations pompeo? was that august 11th? that would help his re-election campaign, correct? >> i can't characterize why he wanted them. all i can tell you is this is what we heard from mr. giuliani. 16. >> but he had -- he had to get >> august 22nd. those two investigations if that official act was going to take place, correct? >> he had to announce the >> okay. you're asking secretary pompeo investigations. he didn't actually have to do whether we should block time -- them, as i understood it. is there any discussion of >> okay. president zelensky had to specific investigations or any announce the two investigations discussion of biden or burisma the president wanted, make a public announcement, correct? or anything linking to aid in >> correct. this e-mail that you sent to >> and those were of great value pompeo? >> no. this was a proposed briefing to the president. he was quite insistent upon them that i was going to give and his attorney was insistent upon them? president zelensky and i was >> i don't want to characterize going to call president zelensky if they were of value or not of and ask him to say what is in this e-mail and i was asking value. again, through mr. giuliani, we were led to believe that that's what he wanted. >> and you said mr. giuliani was acting at the president's essentially president pompeo's permission to do that which he demand, correct? >> right. when the president says, talk to
my personal lawyer, said yes. >> but at that point in time mr. giuliani, we followed his direction. >> and so that official act of we're talking about investigations into the origins of the 2016 election. that meeting was being we're not talking about anything conditioned on the performance to do with joe biden? of these things the president wanted as expressed both >> joe biden did not come up. directly and through his lawyer, >> okay. rudy giuliani, correct? >> stepping back a page to your >> as expressed through rudy giuliani, correct. >> and you've also testified e-mail to the state department that your understanding, it august 11th, you e-mail became your clear understanding, that the military assistance was secretary pompeo and you say also being withheld pending kurt and i negotiated a zelensky announcing these statement from zelensky to be delivered for our review in a investigations, direct? day or two. >> that was my presumption, my the question i have here, that personal presumption based on the facts at the time. statement never was issued and, in fact, ambassador volker has nothing was moving. >> in fact, you had a test fide that he didn't think discussion, communication with it was a good idea and the secretary of state in which ultimately the ukrainians didn't you said that logjam over aid think it was a good idea and the could be lifted if zelensky statement never reached a announced these investigations, finalized state. right? >> i don't recall saying the >> that's correct. logjam over aid. >> but even if it had, it doesn't talk about bidens or i remember saying logjam -- >> that's what you meant, right, burisma or anything insidious, ambassador? >> i meant that whatever was
correct? >> well the statement, as i holding up the meeting, whatever recall, would have mentioned the was holding up our deal with 2016 election slash dnc server ukraine, i was trying to break. again, i was presuming -- and burisma. it would not have mentioned the >> well, here's what you said in bidens. >> have you heard ambassador your testimony a moment ago, volker about how he talks about what might be an investigation okay? into burisma? >> no. page 18. but my goal at the time was to >> okay. i mean he has said that if there do what was necessary to get the aid released to break the were ukrainians engaged in logjam. okay. that's still your testimony, violations of ukrainiani law, right? >> yeah. >> so, the military aid is also then the prosecutor general with the new administration ought to investigate that. an official act, am i right? >> yes. >> this is not president trump's did ambassador volker ever relate that to you? personal bank account he's >> no. writing it from. this is $400 million of u.s. we just talked in generic terms taxpayer money, is it not? about, quote, investigating burisma. >> but it had nothing to do with >> absolutely. >> and there was a logjam in vice president biden? >> i had never heard vice which the president would not president biden come up until very late in the game. write that u.s. check, you >> when? >> i don't recall the exact date believed, until ukraine but when it all sort of came announced these two together, maybe after the investigations the president wanted,y ek correct? transcript of the july 25th >> that was my belief. call, i don't know the exact date when i made the connection.
>> mr. goldman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> okay. in your opening statement, >> apparently a lot of people did not make the connection. ambassador sondland, you detailed the benefits that you >> okay. want to turn to the letter from have gained from obtaining some senator johnson. additional documents over the past few weeks, is that right? he -- when he heard about some of these issues and the hold of the aid he called the president, >> in terms of refreshing my called the president on august recollection. >> right. 31st, page 6 of his letter, because reviewing these documents has helped you to senator johnson states or remember the events that we're writes, i asked him, the asking about, is that correct? president, whether there was >> correct. some kind of arrangement where >> because you acknowledge, of course, when you can place a ukraine would take some action document and a date and a context, it helps to jog your and the hold would be lifted. without hesitation, president memory. >> that's correct. >> and so you would would agree trump immediately denied such an arrangement existed. that for people unlike yourself senator johnson quotes the who take notes, that that is very helpful to their own president as saying, no. and he prefaced it with a recollection of events, right? different word. >> i -- i think you asked your no way. question backwards. i would never do that. are you saying people that take who told you that. notes, it's helpful to have those documents or people that i have senator johnson says i don't take notes it's helpful to have accurately characterized have those documents? >> no, no. the president's reaction as adamant, vehement and angry. you're not a he note taker, senator johnson's telephone call
right? >> not a note taker. never have been. with the president wasn't a >> you agree people who take public event. it was capturing a genuine, you contemporaneous notes are more know, moment with the president able to remember things than and he had, at this point in those who don't. >> some, yes. time on august 31st, he was >> there are additional documents you've been unable to obtain, is that right? adamant, vehement and angry that >> that's correct. >> and i think you even said in your opening statement that the there was no connections to aid, state department prevented you there were no preconditions. and your staff from trying to gather more documents, is that >> yeah. i had my meeting with senator correct? >> certain documents, yes. johnson where, again, i made the >> which documents? presumption that i had made to >> documents that i didn't have immediate access to. both in yermak and the e-mail i >> and who at the state sent to secretary pompeo and we department prevented you from doing that? >> you'll have to ask my counsel. he was dealing with them. were sort of ru my nating about >> but certainly based on the what was going on and senator johnson, i believe, said i'm additional memory you have going to call president trump, gained over the past few weeks you know, and find out and then from reading the testimony of he obviously had that phone others based on their notes and call. i wasn't involved in that phone reviewing your own documents, call. >> but you have no reason to disbelief that that wasn't the you have remembered a lot more way it went down. than you did when you were >> no reason to disbelieve deposed, is that right? >> that's correct. senator johnson. >> and one of the things you now >> now that you've had some is time since your deposition and you submitted an addendum remember is the discussion that relating to the warsaw
you had with president trump on july 26th in that restaurant in kiev, right? get-together with mr. yermak, as >> yeah. what triggered my memory was you sit here today, i mean are wes missing a lot of your someone's reference to a$ap commu rocky, which i believe was the communications with the president? >> i haven't had that many primary purpose of the phone communications with the call. president and, in fact, a bunch >> certainly. that's one way the memory works, of the call records that i have isn't it? had access to, just the short and you were sitting in a restaurant with david holmes in period of time on the call kiev, right, having lunch? >> i think i took the whole team indicates i never got through. out to lunch after the meeting, i was put on hold for one or two minutes and the call never connected. yeah. >> and it was a meeting -- a i really can't give you an accurate count of how many one-on-one meeting you had with conversations plus i've had a lot of conversations with the andriy yermak? president about completely >> yagain, trying to reconstruc unrelated matters that have a very busy day without the nothing to do with ukraine. >> you don't think we're missing benefit, but if someone said i had a meeting and i went to the any material conversations you meeting, then i'm not going to had with the president? dispute that. >> particularly if that person >> i don't recall any material took notes at that meeting? >> correct? conversations today as i'm >> or sat outside the door when sitting here. >> or with rudy giuliani? you didn't let them in? >> yeah. >> i have no control over who my memory about the goes into a meeting in ukraine. conversations with rudy that was the ukrainians that giuliani, whether they were didn't let them in. direct, whether they were >> you also met with president conference calls with ambassador
volker or secretary perry, is zelensky, among others, that day, is that right? >> that's correct. really vague without seeing the >> and you called president call logs. trump from your cell phone, from >> are there any other key fact the restaurant, is that right? >> that's correct. witnesses that would help us get >> and this was not a secure line, was it? >> no. it was an open line. >> did you worry that a foreign to the bottom of whether there was any link to the aid and -- government may be listening to your phone call with the >> maybe brian mccormack, chief president of the united states? of staff for secretary perry, who was involved in and out as >> well, i have unclassified conversations all the time from land lines that are unsecured well. >> okay. and cell phones. if the topic is not classified now, the aid was ultimately and it's up to the president to lifted september 11th, correct? >> i believe that's correct. decide what's classified and what's not classified, and we were having -- he was aware it >> senator johnson, in his was an open line as well. letter on page 6, quotes the >> and you don't recall the president, on august 31st, ron, specifics of holding your phone i understand your position. outside -- far away from your we're reviewing it now and ear as mr. holmes testified, but you'll probably like my final you have no reason to question decision. his recollection of that, do so even on august 31st before you? >> i mean, it seems a little any congressional investigation started the president was strange i would hold my phone signaling to senator johnson here. i probably had my phone close to
my ear and he claims to have that he was going to lift the aid? overheard part of the >> sounds like it, yeah. conversation. i'm not going to dispute what he did or didn't hear. >> and most of the other >> he also testified that you witnesses we talked to, whether it's from the department of defense or omb, or, you know, confirmed to president trump that you were in ukraine at the have told us that all along time and that president zelensky, quote, loves your ass, during this 55 day period they unquote. do you recall saying that? genuinely believed the hold would be lifted. >> yeah. sounds like something i would was that your feeling too at the time? >> i didn't know because every time i asked about the hold i say. was never given a straight that's how president trump and i communicate, a lot of answer as to why it had been put four-letter words. in this case, three-letter. in place to begin with. >> what do you know about the ukrainian's knowledge of the >> holmes then said he heard hold? >> oh, that's very vague. president trump ask, quote, is i don't know if the politico article triggered it or told by he, meaning zelensky, going to do the investigation? mr. giuliani it would be pure, to which you replied, he's going to do it. and then you added that you know, guesswork on my part, president zelensky will do speculation. i don't know. anything that you, meaning >> i mean, but during your president trump, ask him to. deposition, you testified that do you recall that? you did not believe the >> i probably said something to that effect because i remember ukrainians believed the -- were
aware of the hold until the the meeting -- or president politico article? >> yeah. again i think i testified that i zelensky was very -- solicitous was not clear on the exact dates is not a good work. he was just very willing to work with the united states and was of when these things -- when the light went on. there were a lot of conversations going on with the being very amicable so you the ukrainians by a lot of people so putting it in trumpspeak, saying i don't know who communicated what to them. he loves your ass, he'll do >> we have testimony from several witnesses that the president was concerned about whatever you wants, means he's willing to work with us on a foreign aid generally and so he whole host of issues. was -- he had an appe to pauwas >> he was not only willing, he's eager? >> that's correct. trying to be a good steward of u.s. taxpayer dollars. >> because ukraine depends on u.s. as one of its allies. do you agree with that? >> one of the most, absolutely. >> i'm aware that that's been >> just so we understand, you -- his position on aid in other matters, yes. >> and are you aware he was also you were in kiev the day after interested in better understanding the contributions president trump spoke to president zelensky on the phone. of our european allies? >> that i'm definitely aware of. and you now know from reading >> there was some back and fort the call record that in that phone call, he requested a favor between the state department officials trying to better understand that information for the president? >> yes, that's correct. for president zelensky to do >> how do you know that wasn't investigations related to the the reason for the hold? bidens and the 2016 election, >> i don't.
>> but yet, you speculate that right? >> i do now know that, yes. >> and you met with president zelensky and his aides on the there was, you know, a link to day after that phone call, and this announcement. then you had a conversat with f >> i presumed it, yes. terrace, and he asked you whether president zelensky will >> okay. do the investigations. >> i want to turn quickly to the and you responded that he's july 10th meeting. going to do them, or it. and that president zelensky will the july 10th meeting in do anything you ask him to do. is that an accurate recitation of what happened there? ambassador volker's office, >> it could have been words to that effect. i don't remember my exact involving volker, danyliuk, response. >> but you don't have any reason to dispute mr. holmes' yermak, has been the subject of some controversy. recollection, correct? ambassador volker yesterday >> i don't dispute it, but testified that it wasn't until the end of the meeting, mr. again, i don't recall. danyliuk said he was going >> after you hung up with the through some real detailed president, mr. holmes testified about a conversation you and he information about some of the plans he had, but it wasn't had, where he says that you told until the end of the meeting, mr. holmes that the president ambassador volker recollects does not care about ukraine, but that you mentioned something general about investigations. the president used the more what do you remember about that
meeting? >> again, i'm not going to colorful language, including a four-letter word that you just dispute ambassador volker's referenced to -- you just referenced. recollection, if he had notes. do you recall saying that to mr. holmes? >> again, i don't recall my i know that the desire to have exact words, but clearly the president beginning on may 23rd, the 2016 election dnc server and when we met with him in the oval burisma were already being office, was not a big fan. discussed by then. again, i had no direct contact >> but he was a big fan of the with mr. giuliani on july 10th, investigations? >> apparently so. but through ambassador volker >> and, in fact, mr. holmes said that you -- that you said that and i probably mentioned that president trump only cares about this needs to happen in order to the, quote, big stuff that move the process forward. benefits himself. that seemed to be the is that something that you would conventional wisdom at the time. have said at the time? >> i don't think i would have said that. i would have -- i would have i don't recall any abrupt ending honestly said that he was not a of the meeting or people storming out or anything like big fan of ukraine and he wants that. that would have been very the investigations that we have been talking about for quite memorable if someone had stormed some time to move forward. out of a meeting based on something i said. that's what i would have said. >> okay. nobody accused you at that point because that's the fact. in time of being involved with >> mr. holmes also remembers some sort of drug deal? that you told him, and giving an >> no. >> did dr. hill relate to you her concerns about you being example of the big stuff, the involved in a drug deal?
>> never. >> okay. >> so you were surprised when biden investigation that rudy testimony emerged that she giuliani was pushing. thought there was a drug deal do you recall that? >> i don't. going on. >> i was shocked. >> okay. i recall burisma, not biden. in fact, after the meeting you >> but do you recall saying, at went out and took a picture, least referring to an right? >> yeah. investigation that rudy giuliani we -- ambassador bolton, or his was pushing? is that something you likely would have said? assistant indicated he was out >> i would have, yes. of time, had another meeting to attend and we all walked out of >> now, even if you don't recall the white house, everyone was smiling, everyone was happy and we took a picture on the lawn on specifically mentioning the a nice sunny day. biden investigation to david >> did you retire to the ward holmes, we know that it was certainly on president trump's room? >> i think secretary perry asked mind, because just a day before in his call with president zelensky, he mentions to use the ward room to continue specifically the biden the conversation and the real subject that was understand debate, it wasn't a angry investigation. and i want to show you that exhibit -- or that excerpt from debate, it was a president trumo the call on july 25th, where president zelensky be made prior to the parliamentary elections president trump says, the other thing, there's a lot of talk in ukraine or after the electio. about biden's son, that biden and there was good reason for stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out
both. we felt, ambassador perry, about that. so, whatever you can do with the ambassador volker and i, thought attorney general would be great. it would help president zelensky biden went around bragging that to have president trump speak to he stopped the prosecution, so him prior to the parliamentary if you can look into it, it elections because it would give sounds horrible to me. president zelensky more credibility and ultimately he president zelensky then responds with a reference to the company would do better with his people that he's referring to, and two in the parliamentary elections. others, i believe, pushed back witnesses yesterday said that and said no, it's not when president zelensky actually appropriate to do it before. said the company, he said it should be done after. ultimately it was done after. burisma. so, you would agree regardless of whether you knew about the >> there was no mention of vice connection to the bidens, at the president biden in the ward very least, that you now know room? >> not that i remember, no. that that's what president trump wanted at the time through the >> any specific investigation? >> just the generic burisma investigation? >> i now know it all, of course. investigations. >> okay. >> yeah. >> and at this time you were >> when again did the vice aware of the president's desire along with rudy giuliani, to do president biden nexus examine to these investigations, including your attention? >> very late. i can't recall the exact date the 2016 election interference investigation, is that right? the light ball club went on. it could have been as late as >> that's correct. >> and you said president trump once the transcript was out, but it was always burisma to me and
had directed you to talk you -- i didn't know about the and the others to talk to rudy connection between burisma and giuliani at the oval office on biden. >> to the best of your may 23rd, is that right? knowledge, you never understood >> if we wanted to get anything that anyone was asking done with ukraine, it was ukrainians to investigate u.s. persons, correct? apparent to us we needed to talk to rudy. >> right. you understood that mr. giuliani >> ukrainians to investigates u.s. persons? spoke for the president, >> right. correct? >> that's correct. >> no. >> okay. >> no. >> in fact, president trump also made that clear to president >> just to sort of be clear here, ultimately the aid was zelensky in that same july 25th lifted on september 11th. phone call, he said, mr. giuliani is highly -- a there was never any announcement highly respected man. he was the mayor of new york by the ukrainians about any city. investigations they were going a great mayor. and i would like him to call you. to do. correct? i will ask him to call you along >> correct. >> the ukrainians never, to your with the attorney general. knowledge, started any of these rudy very much knows what's investigations, correct? >> not to my knowledge. happening, and he is a very capable guy. >> and consequently, these and after this, president trump then mentions mr. giuliani twice more in that call. allegations that there was a quid pro quo that had to be now, for mr. giuliani by this point, you understood that in
order to get that white house enforced before the aid is released never came to fruition, right? >> i don't believe so. meeting that you wanted president zelensky to have, and president zelensky desperately wanted to have, that ukraine would have to issue ate these two investigations, is that right? >> well, they would have to announce that they were going to >> i want to just step back a do it. >> right. because giuliani and president trump didn't actually care if little bit and just verify with they did them, right? you that the president had some genuinely deep-rooted concerns >> i never heard, mr. goldman, about corruption in ukraine, anyone say that the investigations had to start or correct? >> that's what he expressed to had to be completed. the only thing i heard from us, yes. >> you believed him, given his business dealings in the region? mrmr. mr. giuliani or otherwise is >> when we had the conversation they had to be announced in some i did. >> and when you first started form. and that form kept changing. >> announced publicly? >> announced publicly. discussing the concerns the >> and you, of course, president had with corruption, recognized there would be political benefits to a public burisma wasn't the only company announcement as opposed to a that was mentioned, right? >> it was a generic, as i think private confirmation, right? >> the way it was expressed to me is the ukrainians had a long i testified to chairman schiff, it was a generic corruption history of committing to things privately and never following through, so president trump, presumably, again, communicated oligarchs, just bad stuff going through mr. giuliani, wanted the on in ukraine. ukrainians on record publicly >> but other companies came up,
that they were going to do these didn't they? investigations. that's the reason it was given >> i don't know if they were mentioned specifically. it might have been naftogaz to me. >> but you never heard anyone because we're working on another say they really wanted them to issue with naftogaz so that do the investigations, just that might have been one of them. they wanted to announce -- >> at one point in your >> i didn't hear either way. deposition i believe you said i didn't hear either way. naftogaz comes up at every conversation. is that fair? >> now, your july 26th call with >> probably. the president was not the only time you spoke to the president surrounding that ukraine trip, was it? >> i believe i spoke to him >> you had -- i guess dr. hill before his call. at one point attributed to you >> and that's -- so that would the terminology that the be on july 25th, the day before? president has given you a large remit. >> yeah. are you familiar with her i think i was flying to ukraine assertion of that? and i spoke with him, if i >> i didn't understand what she recall correctly, just before i was talking about. got on the plane. >> so, that's two private >> okay. >> but you have and we got into telephone calls with president trump in the span of two days, this a little bit in your is that right? >> correct. >> you had direct access, then, deposition, you know, you said to president trump, correct? that the president gave you a >> i had occasional access when special assignment with regard he chose to take my calls. to ukraine, correct? >> well, when the president sometimes he would, sometimes he appointed me to the -- as the wouldn't. >> well, he certainly took your u.s. ambassador to the european call twice as it related to union, ukraine was part of my
ukraine on these two days, is that right? portfolio. what made my assignment larger >> he did. >> now, the morning of july than just being part of my portfolio were the unique 25th, you texted ambassador circumstances where there wascu volker, and we could bring up the next text exchange, at 7:54 a.m. and you said, call asap. ukraine and there was a new president in ukraine and the ambassador volker did not respond to you for another hour discussions that we had, the and a half. he said, hi, gordon, got your three amigos, perry, volker and message. had a great lunch with yermak i, ukraine needed extraordinary, and passed your message to him. he will see you tomorrow. as high level support as it could get from the united states think everything in place. during this period, which we volker, though, an hour before that and about a half an hour cleared with both ambassador before the phone call, had bolton and chief of staff texted andriy yermak, a top aide mulvaney to continue working on for president zelensky. it. by extension, yes, if the he said, good lunch, thanks. heard from white house. national security adviser and the chief of staff approve your assuming president z. get to the remit, it really is coming from bottom of what happened in 2016, the president. >> when we asked you that at the we'll nail down date for visit deposition, you said i was to washington. spinning a little bit. good luck. see you tomorrow. >> i was spinning about something else i think in the ambassador sondland, was this interview in kyiv. message that kurt volcker passed
>> okay. >> and you further testified to andriy yermak the message you when i said that the president gave me an asighment, it wasn't left for kurt volker on that the president, it was the secretary through the president, and that's where i received my message? >> i don't know. it could have been. >> you don't have any reason to direction, correct? >> correct. think it wasn't? >> i honestly, honestly don't remember but seems logical to me. >> if ambassador volker testified he did get that did ambassador taylor ever bring any concerns to your attention message from you, you have no reason -- >> no, if he testified he got about the so-called channel he that message from me, i would dubbed irregular? >> no. in fact the opposite. concur with that. >> so is it fair to say this is when he came to post, i think -- the message you received from president trump in that phone call that morning? i know i called him or he called >> again, if he testified to that, to refresh my own memory, me i think he spoke with yes, likely i would have secretary perry and ambassador received that from president trump. >> but the sequence certainly makes sense, right? volker separately and in the >> yeah, it does. >> you talked to president course of the first few weeks he trump, you told kurt volker to was highly appreciative that a call you. you left a message for kurt new ambassador coming to post volker. kurt volker sent this message to like himself was getting the kind of support he was getting andriy yermak to prepare from all three of us having a president zelensky, and then cabinet member,pecialen president trump had a phone call and a fellow ambassador all where president zelensky spoke very similar to what was in this
helping to raise the profile of text message, right? >> right. >> you agree the message that is ukraine. he was highly appreciative and expressed here is president highly complimentary. zelensky needs to convince trump >> you maintained an open line that he will do the with him, correct? >> correct. investigations in order to nail i think there are aumber of down the date for a visit to xts, some of which you i have washington, d.c., is that and some don't, where he is correct? >> that's correct. reaching out constantly to me and others for advice and help. >> tried to count them up. like 215 or something text >> now, i'm going to move ahead messages between you, volker and in time to the end of august/early september, when you came to believe, i believe you ambassador taylor, you know testified, that it wasn't just the white house meeting that was during the early august time frame. contingent on the announcement does that make sense to you? >> yeah. i think taylor started in late of these investigations that the president wanted, but security june or early july, was when he first took post and i think we assistance as well. began communicating fairly you testified that in the shortly thereafter. absence of any credible >> he never communicated any explanation for the hold on security assistance, you came to concerns to you during this time the conclusion that like the frame that he had issues withn? >> whayou mean wha white house visit, the aid was conditioned on the investigations that president trump wanted. is that what you said in your >> this request for some sort of opening statement? >> it is. >> let me break this down with you. investigation? >> not in the early stages.
youenton his e-mails began to b by this time you and many top officials knew that that coveted more pointed and frantic and white house meeting for president zelensky was that's when we had very little conditioned on these investigations, right? visibility as to what was going >> the announcement of the on either. i think it had to do more with investigations, correct. >> thank you. the aid and why the aid was and that includes secretary pompeo, right? suspended. >> right. >> many, many people. >> well, secretary pompeo? ultimately you put a period on >> yes. >> and acting chief of staff mulvaney? >> yes. >> and you testified that this that issue by having the september 9th communication with the president, correct? was a quid pro quo, is that >> that's correct. right? >> i did. >> and when you shared that feedback with ambassador taylor >> and you at this point by the was he satisfied that this issue was now behind them? >> i don't really know because end of august knew the aid had he responded when i said, you been held up for at least six know, get ahold of the weeks, correct? secretary, he said i agree and i >> i believe i found out through never knew whether he ambassador taylor that the aid had been held up around july 18th, is when i heard he reached out to the secretary or not. originally. >> and even though you searched that was sort of the end of that. >> at one point in your text, you said let's get on the phone for reasons, you were never and you said you're an given a credible explanation, is individual that doesn't like to that right? >> that's correct. >> and no one you spoke to text when you can talk about it on the telephone, correct? thought that the aid should be >> i say that to everybody when held, to your knowledge, is that right? >> i never heard anyone advocate something becomes more substantive than just a few
for holding the aid. lines of texts, i say let's talk. >> okay. >> and now by this point at the and did you talk with ambassador end of august it went public and taylor? >> i don't recall. i don't recall whether we spoke the ukrainians knew about it, right after that, whether he right? >> i believe there were some called the secretary. press reports presuming or -- i basically -- mr. castor, i who knows, but i think at that wanted to get the notion across that i've gone as far as i can point it became sort of common go with this. knowledge that everything might you need to -- you're the be tied together. ambassador, you need to pick up >> in fact, president zelensky the ball and run with it at this brought it up at that september 1st meeting with vice president pence that you were at, right? point. >> okay. just getting back to the >> i don't know if he brought it irregular channel. up specifically, but asked where did anyone else express any the aid was, i think, was concerns to you about this more -- i think he sort of asked so-called irregular channel? >> i'm not sure how someo again very vague recollection because i don't have a readout of the bilateral meeting, but why don't i have my check, essentially. >> you understood the ukrainians received no credible explanation, is that right? >> i certainly couldn't give them one. >> so, is this kind of a two plus two equals four conclusion that you reached? >> pretty much. >> it's the only logical conclusion to you that given all
of these factors, that the aid was also a part of this quid pro quo? >> yep. >> now, i want to go back to that conversation that you had with vice president pence right before that meeting in warsaw. and you indicated that you said to him that you were concerned the delay in the aid was tied to the investigations, is that right? >> i don't know exactly what i said to him. this was a briefing attended by many people. i was invited at the very 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, you know, personal belief. >> and vice president pence just nodded his head? >> again, i don't recall any exchange or where he asked me any questions. i think he -- it was a duly noted -- >> well, he didn't say, gordon,
what are you talking about? >> no, are he did not. >> he didn't say, what investigations? >> he did not. >> now, after this meeting, you discussed this pull-aside you had with mr. yermak where you relayed your belief that they needed to announce these investigations prior to the aid being released, is that right? >> i said i didn't know exactly why, but this could be a reason. >> obviously, you had been speaking with mr. yermak for quite a while about a public announcement of these investigations, is that right? >> we had been working on -- >> you indicated to him, in addition to the white house meeting, security aid was now also involved in that? >> i said it could have been involved,y he. >> now, i'm going to show you another text exchange you had on september 1st, where ambassador taylor says to you, are we now
saying security assistance and white house meeting 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 on -- that announcement would ultimately release the aid. do you recall that conversation with ambassador taylor? >> again, my conversation with ambassador taylor, my conversation with senator johnson, were all my personal belief just based on, as you put it, two plus two equals four. >> well, in that -- in his testimony, ambassador taylor says you said president trump had told you that he wanted president zelensky to state
publicly as of september 1st. do you have any reason to doubt ambassador taylor's testimony which he said was based on 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 is the burisma and 2016 elections were conditioned on the white house meeting. the aid was my own personal, you know, guess based, again, on your analogy, two plus two equals four. >> you didn't talk to president trump when ambassador taylor says that that's what you told him? is that your testimony here? >> my testimony is i never heard from president trump that aid was conditioned on an announcement of elections. >> so, you never heard those specific words? >> never heard those words. >> let's move ahead because you have another conversation in --
a little bit later that both tim morrison and ambassador taylor recount, but in this september 1st conversation, ambassador taylor also says that -- testified, under oath, that you said that president trump wanted zelensky in a public box. do you recall using that expression? >> yeah. it goes back to my earlier comment that, again, coming from the giuliani source, because we didn't discuss this specifically with president trump, that they wanted whatever commitments ukraine made to be made publicly so they would be on the record and be held more accountable, whatever those commitments were. >> you also testified -- or ambassador taylor, rather, testified that you told him that you had made a mistake in telling the ukrainians that only the white house meeting was conditioned on the announcement of the investigations and, in fact, everything was, including the security assistance. do you remember saying that? >> when i referenced a mistake,
what i recall was i thought that a statement made by the new ukrainian prosecutor, that these investigations would be started up again or commenced, would be sufficient to satisfy mr. giuliani/president trump. as i recall, my mistake was, someone came back through volker, otherwise, and said, no, it's not going to do if the prosecutor makes these statements. the president wants to hear it from zelensky directly. that's the mistake i think i made. >> do you have any reason to question ambassador taylor's testimony based on his meticulous and careful contemporaneous notes? >> i'm not going to question or not question. i'm just telling you what i believe i was referring to. >> let me fast forward a week and show you another text exchange which may help refresh your recollection. on september 8th you had a -- you sent a text to ambassador taylor and ambassador volker. can you read what you wrote
there? >> guys, multiple convos with zelensky and potus. let's talk. >> ambassador taylor responds immediately, now is fine with me. if we can go to the next exchange. ambassador taylor 1 gorn and i spoke -- or 20 minutes later, rather. i can brief you if you can gordon don't connect, speaking to ambassador volker. then ambassador taylor an hour later says, the nightmare is they give the interview and don't get the security assistance. the russians love it and i quit. you would agree that in this text message, after you had spoken earlier -- an hour earlier with ambassador taylor, that he is linking the security assistance to this interview, this public announcement by president zelensky, is that right? >> absolutely. >> and, in fact, ambassador taylor testified that you did have a conversation with him at that point and he did -- and that you told him that just as
your text message indicates, you did have a conversation with president trump prior to that text message. does that help to refreshr recollection that you, in fact, spoke to president trump at that time? >> again, i don't recall president trump ever talking to me about any security assistance, ever. what this tells me, refreshing my memory, is that by the 8th of september it was abundantly clear to everyone that there was a link and that we were discussing the chicken and egg issue of should the ukrainians go out on a ledge and make the statement that president trump wanted them to make and then they still don't get their white house visit and their aid, that would be really bad for our credibility. i think that's what he's referring to. >> so, you do acknowledge you spoke to president trump, as you indicated in that text, right? >> if i said i did, i did.
>> and that after that conversation, you were still under the impression that the aid was contingent on these public announcements. >> i did not get that from president trump, but i was under the impression that absolutely it was contingent. >> well, you weren't dissuaded then, right, because you still thought the aid was conditioned on the public announcement of the investigations after speaking to president trump. >> by september 8th i was absolutely convinced it was. >> and president trump did not dissuade you of that in the conversation you acknowledge you had with him? >> i don't ever recall -- because that would have changed my entire calculus. if president trump told me directly -- >> that's not what i'm saying. i'm saying, you still believed the security assistance was conditioned on the investigation after you spoke to president trump. yes or no? >> from a time frame standpoi yes. >> now, ambassador taylor also testified that -- and mr. morrison, both of them testified, that you told them president trump said there was
no quid pro quo, which you also included in that text message that you referred, but but you went on and they had slight variations of what you told them, then said to ambassador taylor that president zelensky, not the prosecutor general, needed to clear things up in public or there would be a stalemate and mr. morrison recounted something similar. you don't have any reason to doubt that both of their very similar recollections of the conversations they had with you, do you, ambassador sondland? >> let me break that down, mr. goldman. the text, as i said, about the no quid pro quo was my effort to respond to ambassador taylor's concerns to go to president trump, apparently ambassador taylor had access to secretary pompeo, he did not have access to president trump, so i made the phone call and said what do you want? president trump responded with what i put in the text.
and then i strongly encouraged ambassador taylor to take it up with the secretary and he responded, i agree, when i said that. as far as the other part of your question relating to whether or not the prosecutor could make the statement or zelensky could make the statement, i don't recall who told me, whether it was volker, whether it was giuliani or whether it was president trump, it's got to be zelensky, it can't be the prosecutor, but that's what i relayed. whoever i got that information from i relayed that to i believe ambassador taylor and to mr. morrison. >> as of september 9th, you understood, did you not, that president trump either himself or through his agents, required that president zelensky make a public announcement of the two investigations that president trump cared about in order to get both the white house meeting and to release the security assistance?
eltsre>> mr. an yield back. >> that concludes our 45 minutes and recognize mr. nunes. >> why don't we take a five or ten minute break. >> thank you. >> and there we have had the stunning testimony of the handpicked ambassador to the european union, a life-long republican who has donated over a million dollars, not only to trump's inaugural committee but also to numerous republican candidates for years, essentially directly implicating the president of the united states, his personal attorney, rudy giuliani, and also saying that the secretary of state mike pompeo and others knew about this and were in his words, everyone was in the loop. it was no secret. he said, was there a quid pro quo? the answer is yes.
and then under questioning and even in his very lengthy statement, essentially said this was done at the direct expression of the president and saying we followed the president's orders. margaret brennan has been with me the whole time watching all of this. he lays out a pretty compelling case about why he was taking the actions he did. >> he was. and he also implicated not only the secretary of state, now the vice president, saying that he personally told mike pence in warsaw about his understanding and he repeatedly uses that language, i presume, i believed, i understood, two plus two equals four. that what rudy giuliani was telling us was because the president wanted it to be so. but he did give himself a little wiggle room saying, i don't recall trump ever talking to me about security assistance. so he is putting rudy giuliani really very much at the center of this plan that was floated to
try to withhold one thing for the other and sondland today is saying there was a quid pro quo. very different from the first version of his deposition. >> right. >> and important distinction here because he does point out, i'm looking closely at my notes, because he says that giuliani had demanded that ukraine make a public statement announcing investigations of the 2016 election, the dnc server and burisma. now, if that's noteworthy, why? >> a few things, burisma is the only company that seems to be referenced in any of these phone calls, in any of these depositions. it happens to be the same gas company that hunter biden served on the board of, yet we have heard kurt volker, ambassador sondland and an nsc official none knew that this one company of such interest was directly linked to the bidens and that that was the source of
the president's interest and yet that contradicts the president's own phone call transcript. also interesting as you point out there, the reference to the 2016 election and specifically the dnc server because as you have heard, the attorney general is looking into the origins of the 2016 election meddling investigation that was carried out by robert mueller. the part of that has been repeatedly debunked as a theory is this idea that democratic national committee's server was somehow hidden away in ukraine, relationships who support the president seem to come back to this theory because the president believes it so strongly, evenh theynow it has been debunked. >> it speaks to motive, the president continuously wanted to debunk the theory that it was -- that russia helped him get elected. >> right. >> and this idea that there was this server inside the dnc in ukraine is part of this
conspiracy theory that the president has come to reference on occasion. >> it gets back to the president's mindset that this has to do with the validity of his own election but also that he has held this grudge as you've heard many refer to in these testimonies that the president didn't want to do what he was doing in terms of supporting security aid to ukraine and he continually came back to, i don't want to help these people or provide this aid. >> right. let's bring in major garret who is our chief washington correspondent and has covered the hill for many years. major, just bring an old phrase like bob, have you ever seen anything like it what you saw today? >> no. it's important to talk about what ambassador sondland said and didn't say but then over the course of questioning more or less conceded. what he said up front is, quid pro quo on this meeting between president zelensky and president trump. and he tried to separate that from the security assistance. but over questioning being reminded of text messages, the
sequence of phone calls and the like, he more or less came to the conclusion and testified yes, i came to understand the security assistance being held back which he never got an explanation for was tied to this public expression from ukraine to have these investigations and what's also important as this evolves as you heard chairman schiff, adam schiff, the democrat from california, describe the two things, a meeting with the president and security assistance as what? official acts and then he said is it your belief, ambassador sondland, the things the president wanted, the underlying investigations, were of some value to you. why are those words being used. official act, thing of value. i think norah and margaret know where i'm going with this. this would come closer to what democrats have said, but evidentiary from been far from approving, there's some component of bribery involved in
this entire saga, something of official value, official act rather, and something of value. one for the other. the sequencing that came through ambassador sondland's testimony because he talked so frequently to the president and his designated non-government operative in ukraine, rudy giuliani, tied these things together. >> stand by, major. want to touch base with chairman schiff who is briefing reporters right now. listen. >> just how significant the president's obstruction of this investigation has been. we now can see the veneer has been torn away, just why secretary pompeo and president donald trump do not want any of these documents provided to congress because apparently they show as ambassador sondland has testified the knowledge of this scheme to condition official acts, a white house meeting and $400 million in security assistance to an ally at war
with russia, was conditioned on political favors the president wanted for his re-election. i think a very important moment in the history of this inquiry. [ speaking at the same time ] >> you know, interesting there, you hear, of course, major just previewed it very well, what chairman adam schiff saying, this was conditioned official acts, of course, the language that goes along with bribery. it was also interesting that ambassador sondland said that he repeatedly, he says he shared repeatedly that the white house meeting and security assistance should have proceeded without preconditions of any kind. he also used the word about conditions. the other issue here is, whether sondland's testimony and the documents that he wanted were blocked by the white house and the state department. want to bring in our correspondent at the white house. we did hear ambassador sondland