David Holmes Details Pivotal Ukraine Restaurant Phone Call Between Sondland and Trump
David Holmes gave testimony for the Donald Trump impeachment inquiry on Thursday, during which, he gave a descriptive account of the call where the president asked Gordon Sondland if Ukraine was going to commit to the investigations he wanted.
When the counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine gave his closed-door deposition last week, Holmes said the conversation between Trump and Sondland happened while he and the ambassador to the European Union were having lunch at a restaurant in Kyiv. It was in this conversation where Sondland told Trump that President Volodymyr Zelensky “loves your ass,” and also Sondland and Holmes had the understanding that Trump doesn’t “give a sh*t” about Ukraine beyond scoring investigations into his political foes.
As Holmes recalled the events of that lunch, he said Sondland’s phone wasn’t on speakerphone, but his demeanor changed as Holmes heard Trump’s voice on the other end.
“I could hear the president’s voice through the earpiece of the phone,” Holmes said. “The president’s voice was loud and recognizable, and Ambassador Sondland held the phone away from his ear for a period of time, presumably because of the loud volume.”
Holmes went on to describe how Sondland told Trump that Ukraine would do the investigations, quoting Sondland saying “President Zelensky will do anything you ask him to do.”
“Even though I did not take notes of these statements,” Holmes said, “I had a clear recollection that these statements were made. I believe my colleagues sitting at the table also knew that Ambassador Sondland was also speaking with the president.”
Holmes continued by saying Sondland said Trump was in “a bad mood” at the time, so “I then asked about the president’s views on Ukraine.”
“In particular, I asked Ambassador Sondland if it was true that the president did not give an ‘expletive’ about Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland agreed that the president did not give an expletive about Ukraine. I asked why not? Ambassador Sondland stated that the president only cares about big stuff. I noted there was big stuff going on in Ukraine, like a war with Russia. Ambassador Sondland replied that he meant big stuff that benefits the president, like the Biden investigation that Mr. Giuliani was pushing.”
Watch above, via CNN.
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