Gordon Sondland Says Trump Directed Diplomats to Work with Rudy Giuliani

Here's the ambassador's opening statement, released ahead of his hotly anticipated appearance before Congress as part of Trump’s impeachment inquiry.
October 17, 2019, 1:40pm
Gordon Sondland

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland said Trump directed top diplomats to work with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, on Trump’s “concerns” about “reforms and anti-corruption.”

Sondland said he was “disappointed” about Trump’s request to involve Giuliani, according to a copy of his opening remarks released ahead of his hotly anticipated appearance before Congress as part of President Trump’s impeachment inquiry.

Advertisement

Sondland, a wealthy hotel magnate who became Trump’s envoy to Europe after donating $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee, has become a lightning rod for controversy due to his central role in the Ukraine affair.

Text messages sent between Sondland and other top diplomats, released earlier this month, appear to present senior U.S. officials trying to figure out how to get Ukraine to announce politically helpful investigations in exchange for a presidential visit to the White House.

Read Sondland’s opening statement here:

Cover: U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, arrives for a joint interview with the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)