This Wednesday, House impeachment investigators kicked off their public hearings with a Congressional sit-down with witnesses including top Ukraine diplomat Bill Taylor and State Department official George Kent. During a break in the hearing, Fox News host Chris Wallace suggested on-air that Taylor’s testimony in particular was posed to be very damaging to the president. That’s in stark contrast to President Donald Trump’s own position. Early Wednesday morning, he shouted on Twitter that the witnesses were supposedly “NEVER TRUMPERS!” Reality tells a different story.
Wallace noted that Taylor’s perspective is straightforward and supports some of the key elements that have been alleged about Trump’s plot to get Ukraine to produce dirt on the Bidens. He even told Congress that in his decades of public service, which has included working under presidents of both major parties, he had never seen foreign aid conditioned on another country investigating the U.S. president’s domestic political opponents.
‘I think that William Taylor was a very impressive witness and was very damaging to the president. He took very copious notes at almost every conversation. When he put quotes in his opening statement, he said those were direct quotes from what was said. It also doesn’t hurt that he has a voice like Edward R. Murrow. He is a pretty impressive presence up there, and I think very nonpolitical. He went out of his way to talk about what he knew, what he was specifically testament to.’
That includes a new revelation that the day after Trump spoke on the phone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July of this year, an aid heard Trump discussing “investigations” on the phone with Trump donor turned E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who participated in carrying out the Trump team’s shadow foreign policy for Ukraine.
Wallace shared the quote from Taylor’s testimony, who was sharing what an aide told him of their interactions at the time with Sondland:
‘Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for.’
That’s pretty straightforward. The Trump team abruptly held up military aid to Ukraine in the middle of carrying out a months-long campaign to get Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, and — as Wallace importantly pointed out — they only released that aid after the existence of a whistleblower complaint revealing the Ukraine plot was revealed to the House Intelligence Committee. That complaint helped spark the impeachment inquiry, and in the time since — no matter Republicans’ belligerent affronts against that whistleblower — their reporting has been confirmed by numerous witness testimonies, including that from Taylor. Now, in the wake of that testimony, Trump is even (again) losing Fox News.
Besides that Twitter assertion about the witnesses supposedly being “Never Trumpers,” the best that the president has come up with in response to these revelations is an outlandishly over-the-top fundraising video that he posted to his Twitter feed and describes Trump himself as the “only” figure capable of saving the United States from the oh-so-scary socialist Democrats.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 13, 2019