Donald Trump does not “give a sh*t about Ukraine,” and cares only about “big stuff” that benefits himself, such as the investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden that he was attempting to elicit from the Ukrainian government, Trump-appointed European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland told an American embassy official in Ukraine. The account comes from sworn testimony by that embassy official, David Holmes, a counselor for political affairs in the U.S. embassy in Kiev, according to a CNN report.
Sondland made the comments to Holmes after he spoke to the president by phone on July 26, one day after Trump’s own phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. In a partial transcript of the Zelensky call, posted online by The White House, Trump appears to pressure the Ukrainian leader to undertake the investigation of Biden. Currently the frontrunner for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination, Biden would appear to be the most likely opponent for Trump in next year’s general election.
The July 26 call from Sondland to Trump was revealed in public testimony on Wednesday by acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor. Though Taylor did not name Holmes, he testified that a member of the embassy staff had told him that he overheard the call between Sondland and Trump when he joined Sondland to dine at a Kiev restaurant.
Trump later said that he did not remember the call, “not even a little bit.”
Holmes himself testified about the call in closed-door testimony on Friday afternoon. According to a printed copy of his opening statement obtained by CNN, Holmes and other embassy staff members at the table with Sondland were able to hear Trump speaking because his “voice was very loud and recognizable,” and Sondland held the cell phone away from his ear “presumably because of the loud volume.”
Holmes testified that he heard Sondland tell Trump that the new Ukrainian president “loves your a**,” and that he would do “anything you ask him to.”
“I then heard President Trump ask, ‘So, he’s gonna do the investigation?’ Ambassador Sondland replied that ‘he’s gonna do it,'” Holmes testified in the opening statement.
Following the call, Holmes asked Sondland, “if it was true that the President did not ‘give a sh*t about Ukraine,'” according to the opening statement.
Sondland “agreed” that Trump did not “give a sh*t about Ukraine,” adding that he cares only about “big stuff.”
Holmes told Sondland that he considered the ongoing war with Russia in Ukraine to be “big stuff.” But Sondland then clarified that by “big stuff” he meant things “that benefit the President, like the ‘Biden investigation’ that Mr. Giuliani was pushing.”
Sondland also expressed his opinion of Giuliani in an earlier meeting, according to Holmes’ testimony.
“Dammit Rudy,” Sondland said, according to the testimony. “Every time Rudy gets involved he goes and f*cks everything up.”