Members of the press corps gathered outside of the White House to speak with the President today after Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, gave his testimony on Capitol Hill. President Trump looked to his notes, scrawled in permanent marker across the entirety of his Air Force One stationery, before addressing the group of reporters. He spoke directly from his handwritten memo, which read “I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zellinsky [sic] to do the right thing. This is the final word from the Pres [sic] of the US.”
According to Vox, the President went on to tell journalists that he did not have a close relationship with Sondland, who had donated $1 million to his inauguration. The ambassador also fundraised for Trump during his 2016 presidential bid.
Sondland’s testimony today tells a different story. He describes a close working relationship that exposed him to corruption within the administration.
“I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a ‘quid pro quo?’ The answer is yes.”
People took to Twitter to express their incredulity at President Donald Trump’s speaking notes.
This alone just blows my mind.. the huge sharpie notes Trump has to have to remind him what to say. #sad— 0. l. l. 2. 9. 2. 9. l. 0. (@0ll2929l0) November 20, 2019
me showing up to a rap battle pic.twitter.com/iBQU719idF— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) November 20, 2019
These hearings are the result of an impeachment inquiry spearheaded by Speaker of the House and Senior Democrat Nancy Pelosi in September. House Democrats cited concerns that President Trump had abused his office to pressure a foreign power into investigating his political rival and presidential contender, former Vice President Joe Biden. President Trump allegedly urged Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky to find damning evidence on the Bidens, while withholding $391 million in military aid that Congress had earmarked for Ukraine. Many experts claim that the President intended to use the aid as a bribe to coerce the government in Kyiv to cooperate.
Senior members of the Republican party have been steadfast in their support for the President. According to CNN, Republican lawmakers believe that the impeachment inquiry is nothing but a partisan attempt to undermine Trump’s presidency and his administration.
President Trump also maintains his innocence. The Hill reported that during his last rally in Bossier, Louisiana, he told the crowd, “The absolutely crazed lunatics, the Democrats, radical left and their media partners, standing right back there are pushing the deranged impeachment witch hunt for doing nothing wrong.”