Gordon Sondland, Donald Trump’s ambassador to the EU, is a key figure in the Democrat Party’s impeachment scheme today. Sondland is a major, long-time Republican donor who is married to a Democrat, but he hasn’t always been a fan of Trump.’ According to Fortune magazine, Sondland was “a bundler for Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign.
According to Heavy, it’s a bit more complicated than that. According to Fortune, Oregon Democrats considered Sondland “politically flexible, not ideological,” and he and his wife, a Democrat, donated to both parties.
This morning, after Gordon Sondland, Ambassador to the EU told House impeachment investigators he cannot recall many of the episodes involving him that others have recounted in colorful detail. What he does recall he sometimes remembers differently.
As part of the information released ahead of the testimony, Sondland is testifying that he “followed the president’s orders” to work with Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine.
He says that he and his colleagues did not want to involve the president’s personal attorney in diplomacy efforts with Ukraine, but they were told to by the president.
Even though they didn’t like it, they also didn’t think it was improper at the time. Had he known that some of Giuliani’s associations were with individuals who are now under criminal indictment, he never would have “acquiesced to his participation.”
During his testimony, Sondland claimed that he’s “not a note-taker or a memo writer. Never have been.” Any discrepancies in his testimony, he is suggesting, are due to the lack of documentation.
WMUR reports -Pam Bondi, a White House adviser assisting the administration on impeachment messaging, says President Donald Trump didn’t know his European Union ambassador very well.
Bondi said on “CBS This Morning” that Sondland was a “short-term ambassador” and incorrectly described himself as the envoy to Ukraine.
“The president doesn’t know him very well,” Bondi said.
Politico labeled Sondland a “long-time establishment Republican.” On his website, Sondland describes himself as a “Portland businessman and philanthropist.” He has ties to the Bush family, serving as national finance co-chairman for the George W. Bush Center and on a leadership team for Jeb Bush’s failed presidential run.
According to Oregon Live, several aspects have placed Sondland under the political microscope when it comes to the impeachment buildup among Democrats in the House over Trump and Ukraine. First, there’s Sondland’s text message to Bill Taylor (the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine) in which he defended Trump. Secondly, he traveled to Ukraine several times since June 2019, meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, even though that country is not part of the European Union, the newspaper reported. He’s also part of a whistleblower’s report over the meetings, with Kurt Volker, the State Department’s special envoy to Ukraine. The whistleblower claimed that Sondland’s role was to “navigate the demands that the president had made of” Zelensky.
Heavy reports – On October 8, 2019, Sondland caused controversy when he notified lawmakers that he wasn’t going to show for a scheduled closed-door meeting with the House. His attorney said that he wanted to appear but was told not to by the State Department. Sondland attorney, Robert Luskin, told CBS News, “Sondland believes strongly that he acted at all times in the best interests of the United States, and he stands ready to answer the Committee’s questions fully and truthfully.”
“Gordon Sondland, the chairman of Provenance Hotels and a big supporter of the extended Bush family (including former President George W.), gave $1 million to the inaugural committee through four LLCs,” Open Secrets.org reported.
Sondland was initially a supporter of Trump foe Jeb Bush. He was listed as a member of the Jeb Bush Jewish Leadership Committee. Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor led the group, according to The Sun-Sentinel.
According to Oregon Live – In 2016, he switched allegiance to Trump. But he and his wife seemingly cut their ties to the divisive candidate. The couple dropped out of a fundraiser they were slated to host. They publicly repudiated Trump for his treatment of a Muslim Gold Star Dad Khizr Khan.
Khizr Khan unjustly painted President Trump as an Islamophobe over his suggestion that America needed to put a temporary hold on allowing refugees from top terror nations.
“Trump’s constantly evolving positions diverge from their personal beliefs and values on so many levels” that the couple could no longer support him, a spokesperson for the couple said at the time.
But after Trump won the presidency, Sondland moved quickly to regain Trump’s graces. His companies donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration.
The gesture paid big dividends last year when Trump nominated Sondland ambassador to the European Union.
Click on Detroit reports – In Washington and Brussels, Sondland was criticized for not always grasping the complicated subject matter at hand.
On some issues like trade, where many different strands of policy interact and several different officials call the shots, Sondland struggled to understand policy, the official said.