Russian spies likely intercepted ambassador's cell phone call with Trump

Russian spies likely intercepted ambassador's cell phone call with Trump

Donald Trump demanded an apology from Democrats on Thursday night after a senior Ukrainian official insisted America's ambassador to the European Union did not attempt to link a military aid freeze to a corruption investigation of former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Meanwhile, Sondland, during his closed-door testimony to House Intelligence Committee, told the panel that he had spoken many times to Prystaiko and other Ukrainian officials during the period that was in question, according to a transcript released (pdf) several days ago. I do not recall any conversation with me as with foreign minister.

Rachel Maddow shares part of Ambassador Bill Taylor's testimony at the first public hearing on Donald Trump's impeachment during which he reveals that an assistant overheard Ambassador Sondland in Ukraine talking on his cell phone with Donald Trump.

Sondland was a successful Portland developer and consistent Republican donor when Trump appointed him as ambassador in 2018.

Sondland, who has extensive firsthand information, will testify publicly next week. The White House memo of the July 25 phone call shows that Trump mentioned investigations into the Bidens and the CrowdStrike conspiracy theory. He said Trump indicated there was no quid quo pro, but later submitted updated answers to his testimony that said he believes the Trump administration held back the military aid to pressure Ukraine into launching the Biden probe.

"Obviously, making a phone call from Kyiv to the president of the United States means that not just the Russian intelligence services will be on the call, but a whole lot of other people, too", McFaul said.

Later that day, a Twitter account that appears to belong to Ukraine's then-Defense Minister Oleksandr Danylyuk posted a photo of himself at dinner with Sondland, Taylor and Ambassador Kurt Volker, who was then Trump's special envoy to Ukraine for peace negotiations.

Democratic lawmakers continue to argue that there was in fact a "quid-pro-quo" agreement between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky after an anonymous whistleblower came forward with the allegation.

"Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for", he added.

Taylor testified that a member of his staff last Friday told him that on July 26 there was a meeting between Sondland and President Zelensky's aide Andrey Yermak.

Sondland, America's Trump-appointed ambassador to the European Union, this month gave key testimony to the impeachment inquiry that he told a Ukraine official USA military aid was contingent on Kiev investigating Biden.

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