Sondland Told Trump Ukraine Pres Will Do ‘Anything You Ask Him To,’ Per Embassy Aide’s Testimony
David Holmes, an aide to acting Ukraine Ambassador Bill Taylor and the counselor for political affairs at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, testified on Friday that he was among many who heard a conversation in a restaurant in Kyiv between President Donald Trump and EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland earlier this year.
It wasn’t difficult for anyone to hear the conversation, as Sondland reportedly held the phone up at the dinner table in the restaurant for everyone with him to listen in on. According to Raw Story, which cited reporting from CNN, the White House is not particularly happy with the EU ambassador.
“Aides of the president are not happy that Gordon Sondland apparently held the phone up so other aides could hear what was going on,” CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta said.
Holmes testified on Friday afternoon that he was one of the aides who had overheard the president and Sondland’s call, stating that he heard the two discussing an “investigation” that Trump had wanted.
It’s widely understood that the “investigation” in question pertains to a request made by Trump on July 25 in a phone conversation with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which Trump asked for a “favor” in the form of investigations that could benefit him in a political way.
David Holmes, the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine official who William Taylor testified overheard Pres. Trump’s call w/ Gordon Sondland, arrives for his closed door deposition pic.twitter.com/Tg1EtPmFVU
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) November 15, 2019
According to Holmes, Sondland conveyed to Trump that the investigations were on, telling the president that Zelensky “loves your ass” during the call, CBS News reported.
Holmes also said that he “heard President Trump ask, ‘So, he’s going to do the investigation?'”
The EU ambassador responded in the affirmative.
“Ambassador Sondland replied that ‘he’s gonna do it,’ adding that President Zelensky will do ‘anything you ask him to,'” Holmes stated on Friday.