Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH) questioned Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Wednesday, during the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry public hearings, in the House Intelligence Committee.
Turner blasted House Intel Chairman, Adam Schiff (D-CA) and CNN for misleading the public amid Sondland’s opening statement, in which the ambassador “presumed” there was a “quid pro quo”, and essentially got Sondland to admit that Schiff and CNN are “wrong”.
“Is Donald Trump your friend?” Rep Turner asked Ambassador Sondland. “Do you like the President?”
Sondland replied, “No, we’re not friends,” and he answered, “Yes,” to liking the President.
“After you testified, Chairman Schiff ran out and gave a press conference and said he gets to impeach the President of the United States because of your testimony. And if you pull up CNN today, right now their banner says, ‘Sondland ties Trump to withholding aid.’ Is that your testimony today Ambassador Sondland– that you have ‘evidence’ that Donald Trump tied the investigations of the aid?” Turner asked point-blank. “[Be]cause I don’t think you’re saying that.”
Turner was referring to Schiff when he called for a “break” and immediately went to the press to talk about Sondland’s opening statement testimony. Schiff specifically told reporters that Sondland said that there was a quid-pro-quo deal between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky. (Continued Below)
“I’ve said repeatedly Congressman, I was ‘presuming,'” Sondland insisted.
“So nobody told you, not just the President. [Rudy] Guiliani didn’t tell you, [Mick] Mulvaney didn’t tell you, [Mike] Pompeo didn’t tell you? Nobody else on this planet you that Donald Trump was tying aid to these investigations. Is that correct?” Turner asked. “Because if your answer is yes, then the Chairman is wrong and the headline on CNN is wrong. No one on this planet told you that President Trump was tying aid to investigations. Yes or no?” Turner asked, to which Sondland replied: “Yes”.– (Meaning Schiff and CNN both mislead the public)
“You really don’t have testimony today that ties President Trump to a scheme to withhold aid from Ukraine, in exchange for these investigations?” Turner then asked, and Sondland replied, “Other than my own presumption”. (Continued Below)
“Which is nothing! So that’s what I don’t understand. Do you know what ‘hearsay evidence’ is Ambassador? Hearsay is what I testify what someone else told me. Do you know what made up testimony is? Made up testimony is when I just presume it!” Rep. Turner explained.
“I mean, you’re just assuming all these things, and then, you’re giving them the evidence that they’re running out and doing press conferences and CNN’s headline is saying you’re saying the President of the United States should be impeached because he ‘tied aid to investigations’. And you don’t know that, correct?” Turner asked.
“I never said the President of the United States should be impeached,” Sondland replied.
“Nope. But you have left people with the ‘confusing impression’– that you were giving testimony that you did not. You do not have any evidence that the President of the United States was tied to withholding aid from Ukraine in exchange for investigations!” the Ohio Congressman expressed. (Video Below)
Rep. Michael Turner’s full exchange with Ambassador Gordon Sondland: