The president has had a really tough go of it these past few weeks, and even his children are feeling the pressure of it, as we saw Thursday morning when Trump Jr. appeared on The View and utter pandemonium ensued. There is no defending the actions of Donald Trump, and anyone who tries it has egg on their face that they will never be able to wash off.
Republicans started demanding that the closed-door hearings and testimonies be made public if there’s no witch hunt against the president, and now Democrats are doing just that. Another top diplomat’s Ukraine testimony has been released by Democrats Thursday.
According to NPR:
House investigators have released the deposition by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, who talked behind closed doors about the Ukraine affair.
According to those who heard his testimony, Kent told investigators that the White House picked “three amigos” — diplomats Gordon Sondland and Kurt Volker, and Energy Secretary Rick Perry — to run Ukraine policy.
Investigators have been told that President Trump wanted to pressure the government of Ukraine to commit to investigations that could help him in the 2020 election.
The “amigos,” per Kent, were considered more politically reliable to help execute that policy — along with Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani — than other professional national security and diplomatic staffers.
A conversation that I recall, and I took notes actually, dated to mid-May in which we talked about the change of attitude and approach towards Ukraine, and that was in the wake of meetings that President Trump had, a meeting with Viktor Orban, the leader of Hungary, as well as a call he had with Russian President Putin in early May.
Q And what was the change following those two conversations with Orban and Putin?
A Fiona [Hill] assessed the conversations as being similar in tone and approach. And both leaders, both Putin and Orban, extensively talked Ukraine down, said it was corrupt, said Zelensky was in the thrall of oligarchs, specifically mentioning this one oligarch Kolomoisky, negatively shaping a picture of Ukraine, and even President Zelensky personally.
Q And did Dr. Hill think that that had an impact on President Trump’s outlook?
A I cannot recall what she said in that meeting besides giving me the brief readouts of those two meetings, but that was my takeaway, and that those two world leaders, along with former Mayor Giuliani, their communications with President Trump shaped the President’s view of Ukraine and Zelensky, and would account for the change from a very positive first call on April 21 to his negative assessment of Ukraine when he had the meeting in the Oval Office on May 23.”
The transcript continues:
“Q What concerns did she express with Gordon Sondland?
A To the best of my recollection, she had concerns possibly based on having been in conversations in the Oval Office that he made assertions about conversations that did not match with what had actually been said in the Oval Office.
Q Can you elaborate with any more detail?
A I was not in those conversations, so —
Q I’m just asking what she told you. I understand you weren’t in them.
A I think she may have been as direct as saying that Gordon Sondland lies about conversations that occur in the Oval Office.”
“Mr. Giuliani, at that point, had been carrying on a campaign for several months full of lies and incorrect information about Ambassador Yovanovitch, so this was a continuation of his campaign of lies.”
“Particularly after there were tweets by members of the Presidential family, it was clearly a crisis for Ambassador Yovanovitch and a crisis that was threatening to consume the relationship. So our recommendation to our superiors was that there should be a clear statement of support for Ambassador Yovanovitch.”