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Trump claims Sondland testimony exonerates him: 'It's all over'

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Image: President Trump Departs White House En Route To Austin, Texas
President Donald Trump holds his notes while speaking to the media before departing from the White House on November 20, 2019. -
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President Donald Trump claimed that testimony E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland gave in the House impeachment inquiry, exonerated him, saying that "it's all over."Addressing reporters as Sondland publicly testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee, Trump recounted a conversation he had with the ambassador and claimed that, "I just noticed one thing and I would say that means it's all over.""'What do you want from Ukraine,' he asks me," Trump said, holding a notebook and papers, appearing to read from a part of Sondland's testimony. "'What do you want from Ukraine? I keep hearing all these different ideas and theories.' This is Ambassador Sondland speaking to me, just happened, to which I turned off the television.""And now here's my response that he gave. Ready? Do you have the cameras rolling? 'I want nothing. That's what I want from Ukraine.'" Trump said, continuing to read from his notes. "I said it twice."An image captured by a White House photographer shows Trump's notes reading "I want nothing" multiple times and "I want no quid pro quo" in black marker.

President Donald Trump holds his notes while speaking to the media before departing from the White House on November 20, 2019.
President Donald Trump holds his notes while speaking to the media before departing from the White House on November 20, 2019.Mark Wilson

Sondland recounted a phone conversation during his testimony that he had with Trump in September, which Sondland characterized as "very short and abrupt" and said that Trump appeared to be "not in a good mood."During his testimony, Sondland said that Trump repeated "I want nothing, I want nothing, I want no quid pro quo" on the call. Sondland also testified repeatedly that he understood that it was a Trump priority to have Ukraine announce investigations into the Bidens."[Rudy] Giuliani's requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a White House visit for President Zelenskiy," Sondland told impeachment investigators. "Mr. Giuliani demanded that Ukraine make a public statement announcing investigations of the 2016 election/DNC server and Burisma. Mr. Giuliani was expressing the desires of the President of the United States, and we knew that these investigations were important to the President."Trump also sought to distance himself from Sondland."I don't know him very well. I have not spoken to him much. This is not a man I know well. Seems like a nice guy, though," Trump added. "But I don't know him well. He was with other candidates, he actually supported other candidates, not me, came in late."Trump then repeated that he communicated that he wanted nothing from Ukraine.He later added that, "I say to the ambassador in response: I want nothing, I want nothing, I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelenskiy, President Zelenskiy, to do the right thing. So here's my answer: I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelenskiy to do the right thing. Then he says this is the final word from the president of the United States. I want nothing."Trump did not take questions from reporters.White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement later that, "Ambassador Sondland's testimony made clear that in one of the few brief phone calls he had with President Trump, the President clearly stated that he 'wanted nothing' from Ukraine and repeated 'no quid pro quo over and over again.' In fact, no quid pro quo ever occurred. The U.S. aid to Ukraine flowed, no investigation was launched, and President Trump has met and spoken with President Zelensky. Democrats keep chasing ghosts."

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