The media has gleefully reported on the recently-released transcript of U.S. Ambassador Gordon Sondland’s congressional testimony.
The media has claimed—incorrectly—that President Trump ordered that funding to Ukraine be denied unless the Ukrainians investigated Joe and Hunter Biden for political reasons.
Except the transcript doesn’t say anything about Trump personally telling Sondland that he was ordering a quid-pro-quo for political purposes.
The New York Times headline reads: “Key Witness Revises Testimony, Citing Quid Pro Quo With Ukraine.”
The subject line reads: “Gordon Sondland, the envoy to the European Union, said he told Ukrainians that they needed to comply with investigative requests by Rudy Giuliani.”
The Times contradicted the implication of their headline by saying nothing about President Trump ordering the withholding of funds for political purposes.
The subject line only says that Rudy Giuliani requested the funds be withheld unless an investigation took place.
Last time I checked, Rudy Giuliani isn’t the president of the United States. President Trump is the president.
The media at large has followed the same pattern of headline as the Times.
If you delve into the transcript—which many in the media clearly haven’t done— you will find that Sondland at no point states that President Trump personally ordered the quid-pro-quo.
In fact, the only comments we know that Trump made to administration officials was that “there is no quid-pro-quo.”
Fox News reported, “While Sondland had texted Taylor in September saying there was no quid pro quo, the transcripts released Tuesday of this deposition include a supplemental declaration, in which he says that ‘by the beginning of September 2019, and in the absence of any credible explanation for the suspension of aid, I presumed that the aid suspension had become linked to the proposed anti-corruption statement.” [emphasis added]
Sonland said he PRESUMED.
That doesn’t sound like a subordinate being directed by his boss to carry out an order. It was an inference on his part.
That statement doesn’t prove that Trump ordered the funding withheld for political reasons.
The Fox report continued: “He also acknowledged telling one of Zelensky’s advisers that resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.”
LIKELY not occur. That wasn’t a definitive statement; if he was directed to carry that message, then he would have been more sure of himself.
Sondland cites Giuliani again: “In one except from the testimony, Sondland describes how the discussions about a statement on corruption in general in Ukraine become more explicitly about Biden-Burisma as a continuum amid the involvement of Giuliani, who was pushing the Biden-Burisma agenda.”
The story is still developing, check back with FreedomWire for more developments as they happen.