Patterico's Pontifications


Trump Distances Himself From Giuliani. Giuliani To Trump: Hey, I Was Just Kidding About An “Insurance Policy”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:04 pm

[guest post by Dana]

No joke: As President Trump worked to distance himself from Rudy Giuliani during an interview with former Fox News personality Bill O’Reilly, Giuliani’s lawyer directed Giuliani to call Trump and reassure him that he wasn’t serious about having any sort of “insurance policy” on him in case Trump threw him under the bus:

The attorney, Robert Costello, said Giuliani “at my insistence” had called Trump “within the last day” to emphasize that he had not been serious when he said he had an “insurance policy, if thrown under the bus.”

“He shouldn’t joke, he is not a funny guy. I told him, ‘Ten thousand comedians are out of work, and you make a joke. It doesn’t work that way,’” Costello told Reuters. Giuliani has already said that he was being sarcastic when he made the comments. Trump, too, has brushed them off, telling reporters in the Oval Office this week that “Rudy is a great guy.” The White House declined to comment on Costello’s remarks.

Also noteworthy, during his interview with O’Reilly, Trump denied that Giuliani acted on his behalf in the Ukraine:

Asked point-blank if Giuliani was acting on his behalf in trying to dig up dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden—an issue now at the heart of an impeachment inquiry—Trump said, “No, I didn’t direct him, but he is a warrior, he is a warrior.”

When asked what Giuliani was doing in Ukraine, Trump deflected and told the ex-Fox anchor that he would “have to ask that to Rudy.”

“I know that he was going to go to Ukraine and I think he cancelled the trip. But Rudy has other clients, other than me. He’s done a lot of work in Ukraine over the years,” the president continued.


33 Responses to “Trump Distances Himself From Giuliani. Giuliani To Trump: Hey, I Was Just Kidding About An “Insurance Policy””

  1. OMG, these two… A couple of jokers if I ever saw a couple of jokers…

    Dana (cb74ca)

  2. In TrumpWorld loyalty isn’t just a one-way street.

    It’s a one-way dead-end street…

    Dave (1bb933)

  3. Gonna have to disagree with attorney Costello about Giuliani (and Trump) being a joke…

    Dana (cb74ca)

  4. Deja vu:

    Q Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?

    THE PRESIDENT: No. No. What else?

    Q Then why did Michael Cohen make those if there was no truth to her allegations?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, you’ll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney. And you’ll have to ask Michael Cohen.

    Q Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?

    THE PRESIDENT: No, I don’t know. No.

    Dave (1bb933)

  5. i just hope someday mr. trump who is the president can find a lawyer who won’t commit dirty felonies behind his back and try to blame them on him

    the legal profession really has a lot to answer for here

    Dave (1bb933)

  6. Trump never told anyone he was withholding a meeting, and he probably never did.

    That was probably John Bolton’s doing. He was afraid that if Trump and Zelensky talked, Trump would blurt out something stupid, as indeed happened.

    That’s why Bolton wanted Fiona Hill to tell top NSC lawyer John Eisenberg that he was not part of any “drug deal” Mulvaney and Sondland were cooking up, because they were saying that Ukraine needed to agree to investigations to get a meeting.

    Bolton was trying to delay telephone calls or meetings between Trump and Zelensky but he wasn’t trying to use the delay for anything – he just wanted a delay to prevent Trump from damaging U.S Ukrainian relations.for that reason

    All the quid pro quos were guesses on the part of Sondland. When the question of a quid pro quo (or the open ended question of what did he want from Ukraine) was put to Trump, first by Senator Ron Johnson, and later by Gordon Sondland, Donald Trump denied that he was interested in a quid pro quo – or in anything from Ukraine. And he didn’t need to threaten anything because on July 25 Zelensky already told him he would co-operate in any investigations.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  7. “He shouldn’t joke, he is not a funny guy. I told him, ‘Ten thousand comedians are out of work, and you make a joke. It doesn’t work that way,’” Costello told Reuters.

    My word, this sounds like really bad dialogue out of a 1930s gangster movie.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  8. “And then I said to him, ‘What? Now you’re a funny guy? We don’t need any more funny guys here, if you know what’s good for you.'”

    JVW (54fd0b)

  9. JVW @ 7,

    I agree! And it reminds me of Giuliani’s butt-dial when he and his pal were overheard discussing how to get some money:

    The voicemail yielded no details about the meeting. But Giuliani can be heard telling the man that he’s “got to call Robert again tomorrow.”

    “Is Robert around?” Giuliani asks.

    “He’s in Turkey,” the man responds.

    Giuliani replies instantly. “The problem is we need some money.”

    The two men then go silent. Nine seconds pass. No word is spoken. Then Giuliani chimes in again.

    “We need a few hundred thousand,” he says.


    Dana (cb74ca)

  10. Did they share a milk shake?

    Consider the source: the Disgraced Mick was given a gig on ScumbagTV, aka NewsmaxTV.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  11. A cleavage between them??????? Doesn’t make ‘scents’…

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  12. If Trump says that he didn’t order Giuliani to do anything, that means he did.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  13. I’m sure Trump liked that Gulliani was looking into the “Biden thing” in Ukraine. I doubt he knew about Rudy’s other clients.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  14. @12, Yeah, and i’m sure if Trump said he didn’t kill Epstein, that means he did. Logic.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  15. Yeah, and i’m sure if Trump said he didn’t kill Epstein, that means he did. Logic.

    Which is why he has never said it.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  16. @14

    Let me try to explain.

    When trump makes a clear declaration of fact the most common result is that we learn his statement was in error.

    Time123 (4ea00e)

  17. I don’t believe Giuliani that he was “joking”. He mentioned this “insurance policy” more than once. If Trump crosses him, I’m sure Giuliani would have a lot to say to the Judiary Committee that doesn’t fall under attorney-client privilege.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  18. Attorney-client privilege. I know that Congress did not recognize it the last time I looked. About two months ago.

    But on that subject, what is a purported lawyer doing telling Reuters what he told his client?

    nk (dbc370)

  19. Yeah, and i’m sure if Trump said he didn’t kill Epstein, that means he did. Logic.

    Um, no, the default should be–and the logic should be–that whatever Trump says should be presumed false until proven true. It’s just easier that way as so few of Trump’s statements are actually truthful.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  20. But on that subject, what is a purported lawyer doing telling Reuters what he told his client?

    I’m guessing that Trump has as much attorney-client privilege in his doings with Giuliani as he did with Cohen, which was damn little.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  21. Is Rudy Giuliani a better personal lawyer than Michael Cohen? That’s the real question. Both have gotten Donald Trump into some really deep sh!t, so I guess it’s a coin flip. But then Trump only hires the best, right? They’re all convicted felons serving time or suspected criminals under investigation.

    But as far as Giuliana, who is under investigation, goes, everyone praises him because he took down some mob bosses when he was DA in the SDNY–the district now currently investigating him for bank and tax fraud, illegal campaign contributions, failure to register as a foreign lobbyist, that sort of thing–and he happened to be the mayor of NY on 9-11.

    About that. It was Giuliani who insisted (demanded) that the office of counter-terrorism be housed at the World Trade Center. So, when the Twin Towers fell, it destroyed the command center. Meaning that it took weeks after the fact to develop a response.

    This is the guy you want running point for you?

    Giuliani has been dealing with corrupt oligarchs for decades. So has Trump. It’s no wonder they were a marriage made in heaven. Of course, Trump committed adultery, and left Giuliani, shamed, to hang in the wind. These two deserve each other.

    Gawain's Ghost (a89947)

  22. 18. 20. I think nk, with this:

    But on that subject, what is a purported lawyer doing telling Reuters what he told his client?

    …..was talking about Giuliani’s lawyer, Robert Costello, who says Giuliani called Trump (only) because he told him to (but he himself didn’t think it necessary to emphasize that he had not been serious.

    But that could have been done with Giuliani permission, or after consultation with Giuliani.

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  23. Trump did not direct Rudy. Rudy does not have an insurance policy.

    Just keeping it simple…. both are liars.

    noel (f22371)

  24. And, you know, it is especially sad for me because I have met Rudy and really had a great deal of admiration for him. Now, I can’t believe the mess he makes everywhere he goes.

    noel (f22371)

  25. Dave (1bb933) — 11/27/2019 @ 2:24 pm

    Q Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?

    THE PRESIDENT: No, I don’t know. No.

    That was true. He agreed, after the fact, that he should reimburse him, but where MC got the money in the first place, Trump didn’t know. Not even by the time he got asked the question, although by that time he must have known, in a general way, that Michael Cohen borrowed it, and had also been accused of bank fraud because of what he certified to.

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  26. “No, I didn’t direct him, but he is a warrior, he is a warrior.”

    This seems to be the simple truth, unless you want to accuse Trump of being a Machiavellian genius. Giuliani said he was looking into something that he got told around November, 2018, not what Trump got told, by people he knew, because they had contributed their way into Republican donor networks probably using Russian intelligence money, although their indictment doesn’t allege exactly that, just that the money was not really theirs. Not by people Trump knew. Although Trump seems to have heard stuff independently, too, sources unknown, although this might be secondhand from something online.

    “I know that he was going to go to Ukraine and I think he cancelled the trip.”

    That was in May. If Trump knew Giuliani cancelled the trip, he knew a bit more, like why or some idea of what the trip was about.

    “But Rudy has other clients, other than me. He’s done a lot of work in Ukraine over the years,”

    This is kind of a ridiculous statement. Trump knows that even if Giuliani had a second reason for going to Ukraine, he cancelled because of publicity related to what he, Trump, was interested in.

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  27. There’s a problem with the call that Sondland made to Trump supposedly on September 9. That alleged Sept 9 call between Sondland and Trump seems to have become an accepted part of the timeline. But it’s almost certainly wrong. The question really is: in what way is it wrong?

    I think, most likkely, what in reality, was only one call to Trump, may have morphed into two, with slightly different accounts of what was said. One version is secondhand and includes the idea that Trump still wants investigations but not as a quid pro quo. Sondland’s version is that Trump told him he wanted Selensky to do the right thing and carry out (the campaign promises) he ran on.

    Initially, Sondland claimed only one call to Trump in September and he may have placed, or let stand, a late timing.

    Sondland made a call to Trump before September 7. But there is a problem with the idea of a second call on September 9. Sondland already had the logs of his calls by Wednesday, November 20, at the time of his second. public testimony. It didn’t show any call on September 9.

    That Trump said he wants nothing (or no quid pro quo) to Sondland at some point in early September is backed up by Senator Ron Johnson who says he also heard that from Trump – and even earlier, on September 1, so I think there’s no reason to doubt that.

    Sondland may have lied, or implied something untrue, contemporaneously, to William Taylor, the acting Ambassador to Ukraine, . (I’m not sure if Sondland ever testified that he made a call on September 9. I’m not sure what exactly Sondland texted Taylor, either because I haven’t looked at it but this whole thing needs looking into.)

    On September 9, shortly after midnight Eastern Time (but after 6 am in Europe) Taylor texted Sondland (in an exchange that was copied to Kurt Volker) that it would be “crazy” to withhold aid for political reasons. Sondland sent a reply at 5:14 am Eastern time and may have claimed that he talked to Trump in the interim. I’m not sure if he explicitly said that he just talked to Trump.

    There is no record of a Sondland call to Trump being patched through the White House switchboard before 5:14 am that morning. Sondland did not have Trump’s personal cell phone number, and had to use the White House switchboard, as he did on July 26 (That call has been verified. Whether Holmes lied about overhearing a few words from Trump on that call is another matter. It would be plausible, if Sondland deliberately took his phone off his ear at the point when his conversation with Trump began just so the people sitting near him could hear it was Trump he was talking to, but Holmes did not give this as a reason and claimed not to remember why he overheard only a few words and nothing else later.)

    In addition, Trump’s first tweet of the day September 9 came at 6:21 am, more than an hour after the 5:14 am time of Sondland’s reply to Taylor’s text message, but after watching a Fox News segment. There’s time for the call, but otherwise Sondland is reported never to have called Trump before 7:30 am.

    If Sondland did somehow reach Trump through Trump’s personal cell phone, then there would have been no record of it. The calls could still be logged if they were received in the Situation Room or otherwise routed through a secure channel, but Trump usually stays in the residence portion of the White House till 10:30 am.

    There’s also the issue of what time zone the text messages were stamped with. It was the time zone used by Volker’s cell phone, which, although at the time he was in Tbilisi, in former Soviet Georgia, in his capacity as executive director of the McCain institute, is believed to have been permanently set to Eastern time. It probably still wouldn’t work, and Taylor would have been texting Sondland very very late, but the Washington Post doesn’t explicitly say so.

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  28. Here are the exact text messages between Acting ambassador William Taylor and Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, as released by Ukrainian envoy Kurt Volker and timestamped September 9, 2019:

    [9/9/19, 12:31:06 AM] Bill Taylor: The message to the Ukrainians (and Russians) we send with the decision on security assistance is key. With the hold, we have already shaken their faith in us. Thus my nightmare scenario.

    [9/9/19, 12:34:44 AM] Bill Taylor: Counting on you to be right about this interview, Gordon.

    [9/9/19, 12:37:16 AM] Gordon Sondland: Bill, I never said I was “right”. I said we are where we are and believe we have identified the best pathway forward. Lets hope it works.

    [9/9/19, 12:47:11 AM] Bill Taylor: As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.

    [9/9/19, 5:19:35 AM] Gordon Sondland: Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind. The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign I suggest we stop the back and forth by text If you still have concerns I recommend you give Lisa Kenna or S a call to discuss them directly. Thanks.

    Sondland doesn’t seem to state here that he made a call to Trump on September 9. hat date doesn’t come from here..

    S stands for S[ecretary of State Mike Pompeo] and Lisa Kenna is the Executive Secretary of the United States Department of State, who often took messages for Pompeo.

    Also notable here is this:

    [9/8/19, 11:20:32 AM] Gordon Sondland: Guys multiple convos with Ze, Potus. Lets talk

    [9/8/19, 11:21:41 AM] Bill Taylor: Now is fine with me

    [9/8/19, 11:26:13 AM] Kurt Volker: Try again—could not hear

    [9/8/19, 11:40:11 AM] Bill Taylor: Gordon and I just spoke. I can brief you if you and Gordon don’t connect

    [9/8/19, 12:37:28 PM] Bill Taylor: The nightmare is they give the interview and don’t get the security assistance. The Russians love it. (And I quit.)

    The interview was the CNN interview with Fareed Zakaria in which Ukranian president Zelensky was planning to say he would investigate Burisma and the 2016 election. The whole interview was cancelled after Trump lifted his hold he had put on the military aid on September 11.

    The story of the scheduled and then cancelled interview became public only a good time after (weeks)
    the text messages did.

    Also we have here documentary evidence of when Ukrainian officials found out, or waned to verify, that there wss an official hold on the security assistance.

    [8/29/19, 2:28:19 AM] Andrey Yermak: Need to talk with you

    [8/29/19, 3:06:14 AM] Andrey Yermak: 1689531

    [8/29/19, 6:55:04 AM] Kurt Volker: Hi Andrey – absolutely. When is good for you?

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  29. It’s not easy, using Google,. to get a readily searchable easy to download transcript of Gordon Sondland’s testimony – either his October 17 closed door testimony, released about November 5, or his broadcast testimony on November 20.

    But here’s a CBS News story, based on his earlier testimony, (and other sources?) that has the call to Trump taking place on September 9:

    In early September, Sondland he had been unable to get a straight answer as to why the military aid had been delayed.

    On September 9, Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, sent a message to Sondland questioning whether the U.S. was withholding aid to get Ukraine to open investigations. Sondland was taken aback by the text, and called Mr. Trump to ask him what he wanted from Zelensky.

    “I asked him one open-ended question: What do you want from Ukraine? And as I recall, he was in a very bad mood. It was a very quick conversation. He said: I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. I want Zelensky to do the right thing,” Sondland testified.

    “And I said: What does that mean? And he said: I want him to do what he ran on. And that was the end of the conversation. I wouldn’t say he hung up me, but it was almost like he hung up on me,” Sondland continued. Sondland replied to Taylor’s text several hours later, relaying the president’s assertion that there was “no quid pro quo.”

    Sondland initially told members of the committee that Taylor’s September 9 text was the first time he had considered a potential link between the withholding of aid and the request for investigations. However, Taylor had texted Sondland about the issue on September 1, the same day at the meeting with Yermak.

    CBS, therefore, had this call being made about 1am Washington time.

    Sondland described the call the same way (about him asking an open ended question) in his broadcast testimony.

    Then there’s this business of Trump being in bad mood. And you had anonymous sources saying he is often in a bad mood in the morning. Trump denies that he is ever in a bad mood, and of curse peole are ready to believe that he’s simply lying here, too.

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  30. They are saying the call never happened rather than, at some point, Sondland gave the wrong date for the call. This website more logically has it that one call has been made into two, although t’s extremely negative toward Sondland:

    The analysis that follows is consistent with the Post’s report and, among other points, shows why Sondland’s “no quid pro quo” call is in fact the same as the September 7th call that Morrison reported to NSC lawyers on September 7th…

    Because in reality, as shown from the testimony of other witnesses, the “no quid pro quo” call did not take place on September 9th. What’s more, the call was not prompted by any text from Bill Taylor. And lastly, Sondland’s testimony about the “no quid pro quo” call omitted the most important part: the part where President Trump informed Sondland that the security assistance would be at a “stalemate” until President Zelenskyy stood in front of a microphone and personally announced that he was opening an investigation into Trump’s political rivals.

    II. The “No Quid Pro Quo” Call Took Place on Sept. 7, Not on Sept. 9

    The “no quid pro quo” call did not take place on September 9th, as Sondland claimed at one point in his testimony; instead, it took place on September 7th. This is shown from the testimony of Tim Morrison, Senior Director for European Affairs for the National Security Council, and Charge D’Affaires Bill Taylor, both of whom were briefed on the call by Sondland shortly after it occurred.

    This detail is critically important, not because the precise date of the call is significant in and of itself, but because of what it shows about the true content of that call – the substance of the conversation that Morrison and Taylor described in their testimony, and that Sondland omitted from his.

    Sondland’s Testimony

    Though Ambassador Sondland testified that, to the best of his recollection, the “no quid pro quo” call occurred on September 9th, Sondland was also quick to point out that as a result of his inability to review certain State Department records, his “memory admittedly has not been perfect.” (Sondland Testimony of Nov. 20, 2019) Still, Sondland said he had a distinct reason for remembering the date of this particular call: it was prompted by what Sondland described as a “fairly shocking” and “alarming” text message he received from Charge Taylor, in a group chat that included Ambassador Kurt Volker. It was in response to this text, Sondland said, that Sondland made the call to President Trump:

    So rather than ask the President nine different questions – is it this, is it this, is that – I just said what do you want from Ukraine? I may have even used a four letter word. And he said I want nothing, I want no quid pro quo, I just want Zelensky to do the right thing, to do what he ran on or – or words to that effect. (Sondland Testimony of Nov. 20, 2019)

    …With these text records to support his account, Ambassador Sondland testimony’ that this this call took place on September 9th went largely unchallenged during the hearings before the HPSCI. But despite the text recordings – which would seemingly corroborate Sondland’s memory and provide him precise evidence about when the call occurred – Sondland’s testimony has had a curious uncertainty too. For instance, in Sondland’s amendment to his closed-door testimony, he avoided identifying the precise date for the call altogether, instead giving a range of possible dates – from September 6th to September 9th – and then noting that his lack of access to his phone records prevented him from identifying the date with more certainty:

    [In his earlier closed door testimony Sondland said he couldn’t remember whetehr he made one or two calls. In hia public testimony he said:

    CASTOR: And then the – the next time, you know, we tried to unpack this, the – the next time you talked with the President was on the telephone – was September 9th, according to your deposition, right?

    SONDLAND: I may have even spoken to him on September 6th but again I just don’t have all the records. I wish I could get them, then I could answer your questions very easily. ..

    ..CASTOR: Okay. And then in your September 9th communication with The President during your deposition that was a striking moment when you walked us through your telephone call with President Trump on September 9th.

    SONDLAND: By the way I still cannot find a record of that call because the State Department or The White House cannot locate it. But I’m pretty sure I had the call on that day.

    …Based on the testimony of both Morrison and Sondland, as well as the corresponding text records, Sondland’s “no quid pro quo” call with Trump had already happened on September 7th. Indeed, it also explains why Sondland’s text message in reply to Taylor on Sept. 9 began, “Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind.” It was a reference to their phone conversation the day before, when Sondland debriefed Taylor about his call with the President.

    III. The “No Quid Pro Quo” Call Was in Response to Negotiations That Occurred in Warsaw, Not Bill Taylor’s Text

    On September 1.

    And that brings us to the September 7th call between Sondland and President Trump, when Sondland called Trump to ask “one open-ended question: What do you want from Ukraine?” (Sondland Depo. at 106) Sondland did not make this call because of anything Taylor had texted him; rather, Sondland was apparently calling to ask President Trump if the solution that had been negotiated in Warsaw, in which the Prosecutor General made the announcement, would be acceptable to him.

    It was not. President Trump rejected the substitution of the Prosecutor General, and demanded that President Zelenskyy himself make the announcement. As Morrison testified in his closed-door deposition,

    Sammy Finkelman (1a8726)

  31. I think the cause of the problem with the date of the “no quid pro quo” call between Gordon Sondland and President Trump (and/or the number of calls Sondland made to Trump in between September 6 and 9) was probably caused by Sondland’s lawyer pressing him for specificity – and then coming to the wrong conclusion.

    It should be clear from the exact wording of Sondland’s text message to Taylor at 5:19:35 AM Eastern time (but more like 11:10 where Sondland was) that Sondland was not speaking of any new call he had made.

    He wrote, in part:

    The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind.

    “has been.”

    Something that happened already, before right now. Before today.

    Now that could be a lie, but Sondland was not saying he talked to Trump just then.

    Sondland and his lawyer didn’t realize that the timing of the text messages made a telephone call between Taylor’s text message at 12:47:11 AM and Sondland’s reply at 5:19:35 AM virtually impossible as well as not fitting well into the text.

    If Sondland did talk to Trump in the interim, he concealed that from Taylor. He may have mentioned the call to Trump to his lawyer but that was because, in his reply to Taylor, he was hearkening back to that.

    Sondland’s session with his lawyer was probably too hasty because he was billing by the hour, and they had, as a result, probably budgeted a limited, and fixed, amount of time for preparation of his testimony, which turned out to really be not quite enough. And the lawyer probably had other appointments, and he was sloppy and made Sondland too definite because he, this lawyer, wanted Sondland to be definite; and they didn’t think it through..

    Sondland did, take time to respond to Taylor, but that was probably because he was thinking of exactly what to say, not because he called Trump to check. He did call Trump to check, but a few days before, and most likely on September 6 not September 7. And not erify anythng – Sond;and said that, instead of asking Trump” “Do you want this, do you want that?” he asked an opened ended question.

    And what he heard is like what he testified to later:

    The President is trying to evaluate whether Ukraine is truly going to adopt the transparency and reforms that President Zelensky promised during his campaign

    And he was guessing as to the exact conditions that might meet Trump’s criteria. And he might have told Taylor that before already.

    Sondland had already told Taylor at 12:37:16 AM that he’s not sure:

    Bill, I never said I was “right”. I said we are where we are and believe we have identified the best pathway forward. Lets hope it works.

    “Let’s hope.” It’s a guess.

    That is maybe slightly different than what he told Morrison because Morrison says he gave him a specific condition, but Sondland had been more definite than he really thought because his contact with Morrison was brief and he, not quite honestly, had wanted to move things along. So he gave his opinion as fact.

    Sondland added in his Sept. 9 5:09 AM text to Taylor that if Taylor felt that they were withholding security assistance for help with a political campaign, he should talk to the Secretary of State.

    Sondland didn’t know this, but Taylor had already, back on or shortly after August 29, written a cable on the recommendation of John Bolton, written in the first person also, which was not usual in State Department cables, asserting and complaining about this very thing – that it was crazy to be holding security assistance hostage for political purposes – but he never received a reply, although he did hear back through the grapevine that Pompeo had taken the cable to the White House with him and read from it out loud to President Trump. Since he never heard back from Pompeo, Taylor would naturally have thought that his assessment of what was going on was correct, but that the decision was reversible.

    Sammy Finkelman (845007)

  32. Zelinksy had already agreed to investigations before (and in) the July 25 call. Then why didn’t they happen?

    First because some of that (Burisma, the more legitimate one) wasn’t going to start until September,


    Second, because the Ukrainians were being quietly urged by Ambassador Taylor and maybe others not to do them, because they needed bipartisan support and this would anger the Democrats.

    Note also that the Whistleblower thought:

    1) That Zelinsky was told that he had to agree to “play ball” to get a meeting or a phone call

    2) That the time period he was told this extended from mid-May (the point at which a decision was
    transmitted to the Vice President’s office that he would
    NOT be going to the Ukraianian President’s inauguration, which, as a result, was moved up on May 16 to May 20 from a tentaive time frame of end of May through early July It is not that the whistleblower’s access to
    people in the State Department or other U.S. officials was cut off at that point, because elsewhere, he writes about what he learned happened on August 2 “from multiple U.S. officials.” The reason he stops the date is because he thinks Zelinsky agreed.

    3) And in fact a phone call did take place on July 25.

    And in the phone call Zelinksy speaks about how he was going to co-operate. There is no pressure on Ukraine to do anything, and there is no reluctance expressed by President Zelinsky to do t.

    I also read the whistleblower saying that Ambassadors Volker and Sondland “sought to help Ukrainian leaders understand and respond to the differing messages they were receiving from official U.S. channels on the one hand, and from Mr. Giuliani on the other” as meaning he thought they were tellin gthem to ignore anythin Giuliani said that was not backed up by the regular channel – i.e. them NOT to do the investigations I think he had the message right, but the messengers wrong. That was mainly, or only, Taylor. Sondland was on the other side.

    And the reason Sondland proposed a public announcement was that Zelinsky’s private agreement with Trump to launch investigations didn’t seem to be enough. It was not because this was some clever three dimensional chess move by Trump to have an announcement but no investigation because Trump, supposedly, knew there was nothing genuine to find out. The idea for a public announcement did not come from Trump, although it issaid to be an old Giuliani idea fropm the spring.

    Sammy Finkelman (845007)

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