Another day, another round of public impeachment hearings. On Wednesday, Nov. 20, United States Ambassador to the European Union (E.U.) Gordon Sondland appeared before the House Intelligence Committee as a part of the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. This hearing is arguably the wildest yet, and these memes about Gordon Sondland's testimony prove Twitter is enjoying the show.
Amb. Sondland's testimony began at 9 a.m. ET, and boy, was it a wild ride. Sondland is a former hotelier who was appointed by Trump to his post as ambassador in March 2018. He was also one of President Trump's largest campaign donors during the 2016 presidential election. Sondland was brought forward to testify because of his role as one of the three point men (also nicknamed the "three amigos") who dealt with the United States' dealings with Ukraine, and for having details on the July 25 phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Trump asked Zelensky to investigate political rival Joe Biden.
While previous testimony from career diplomats had been a little more, let's say, reserved — Sondland went a little wild. For example: Daniel Goldman, the Democratic counsel, asked Sondland whether he remembered telling Trump during a July 26 phone call that Zelensky "loves [his] ass" while Sondland was dining in a restaurant in Kyiv, Ukraine. While Sondland didn't confirm those were his exact words, he stated it sounds like something he would say. "That's how President Trump and I communicate," Sondland said. "A lot of four-letter words. In this case, three letters."
Sondland also claimed that he was "following the president's orders" while pressuring Ukraine to open investigations. According to Sondland, everyone was aware of this. "Everyone was in the loop," Sondland said. "It was no secret." In a statement shared with CNN, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said Trump expressed he did not want anything from Ukraine. "Ambassador Sondland’s testimony made clear that in one of the few brief phone calls he had with President Trump, the President clearly stated that he ‘wanted nothing’ from Ukraine and repeated ‘no quid pro quo over and over again.'" The White House did not immediately respond to Elite Daily's request for comment.
Unsurprisingly, Sondland's very... blunt testimony had people reacting.
Sondland also testified that President Trump allegedly told his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to pursue a "quid pro quo" with Ukraine, which is a Latin word that roughly translates to "something for something." Elite Daily reached out to Giuliani for additional comment, but did not immediately hear back. According to Sondland, Giuliani worked to tie a White House visit for Zelensky to requests for investigations into the 2016 presidential election and Biden's son Hunter's business dealings in Ukraine. "Mr. Giuliani was expressing the desires of the president of the United States, and we knew that these investigations were important to the president," Sondland said during his opening statement. Giuliani tweeted out on Nov. 20 that he had never met Sondland.
Following Sondland's testimony, Trump pushed back against his claims while speaking to reporters on the White House lawn. "I want nothing. That’s what I want from Ukraine. That’s what I want, that’s what I said," Trump said, denying he knew Sondland well. "I say to the ambassador, I want nothing. ... I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelensky, President Zelensky, to do the right thing."
Clearly, Twitter enjoyed Sonland's testimony. And there's more to look forward to. Former top Russia expert on the National Security Council Fiona Hill and State Department official David Holmes are both set to testify on Thursday, Nov. 21.