This Friday, President Donald Trump yet again called into his favored show Fox & Friends, where he ranted for almost a whole hour about a dizzying array of topics restrained only by his entirely boundless ego. He responded directly to testimony earlier in the week from E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who spoke publicly as part of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry against Trump. Sondland bluntly told Congress that there was, in fact, a quid pro quo in the Trump administration’s dealings with Ukraine, but a freaked out Trump insisted that Sondland’s testimony was “nonsense” and even added that he supposedly hardly knows him. To be clear, Sondland donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration committee and says he’s spoken with Trump almost two dozen times.
Discussing Sondland’s testimony, Trump told the Fox hosts:
‘That’s total nonsense. Why should we give money to a country that is known corrupt?.. I hardly know him. I have spoken to him a few times… I want nothing — he said that when he was testifying. They didn’t put that in. That was the end of him. I turned off the television… Sondland, I hardly know him.’
The evidence tells a story of Trump and his associates having withheld already approved military aid for Ukraine in a bid to get them to produce dirt on the Bidens, based on hollow corruption allegations of a personal financial kickback for then-Vice President Joe Biden pressuring the country to fire a corrupt top prosecutor. In reality, there’s no evidence tying any personal financial concerns to Biden’s pressure, which mirrored pressure from numerous other world leaders.
Trump has continued on anyway, and he’s been masquerading as just an ardent anti-corruption champion — although he recently fired an actual figure like that. Marie Yovanovitch had been working on anti-corruption initiatives when Trump abruptly dismissed her from her post as ambassador to Ukraine over completely baseless allegations that she was harboring some kind of conspiracy against him. Yovanovitch has since testified both privately and publicly about the president’s brazen abuse of power.
During his Friday Fox appearance, Trump also specifically responded to State Department official David Holmes’s account of a July phone conversation with Sondland in which the president allegedly discussed getting Ukraine to pursue “the investigations.”
Trump insisted to the Fox hosts, with no apparent concrete evidence to back him up:
‘I guarantee you that never took place.’
This is definitely not the first time that Trump has sought to rebuff Sondland’s impeachment testimony. On the day that the actual testimony took place, Trump carried a handwritten note of something he’d supposedly told Sondland out to reporters outside the White House. He yelled out the contents:
‘I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zellinsky to do the right thing. This is the final word from the Pres. of the U.S.’
That conversation is alleged to have taken place around the time that a whistleblower complaint revealing Trump’s Ukraine plot first surfaced. Trump would like us to believe he’s innocent just because he said so.