The BBC has reported (on Nov 6) that

Trump envoy Gordon Sondland revises testimony on Ukraine aid [...]

"I now recall speaking individually with Mr Yermak, where I said resumption of US aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks," Mr Sondland said. [...]

During his 10-hour deposition last month, the US ambassador to the EU repeatedly hedged when questioned about his contacts with Ukrainian officials. Now, he can recall key details about a 1 September meeting during which he told them resumption of US military aid was conditioned on Ukraine publicly announcing an investigation that could be used to damage Joe Biden.

As for the official White House response to this development

The White House responded by noting that in his addendum, Mr Sondland "did not identify a solid source" for his assumption that there had been a quid pro quo.

"No amount of salacious media-biased headlines… change the fact that the President has done nothing wrong," White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.

Clearly the "never Trumper" label is probably going to be difficult to apply to Sondland, as the BBC notes

The president and his defenders have repeatedly dismissed those objecting to his Ukrainian efforts as "never Trumpers" with political or ideological axes to grind.

Mr Sondland does not fit that label. A long-time Republican activist, he was a political appointee who had cast his lot in with the president. That makes this testimonial about-face, which puts him in synch with multiple other congressional witnesses, particularly explosive.

But besides the White House dismissing Sondland's new testimony as not based on a "solid source", has Sondland been the subject of other subsequent criticism, personal attacks in particular, in the media (favoring Trump)?

N.B: I see from older press coverage that there might be plenty of ammunition to attack Sondland, e.g. as an uncommitted opportunist

He backed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in the 2016 GOP primary, donating more than $20,000 to a pro-Bush superPAC. He came around once Trump was the de facto nominee, with plans to chair a fundraiser. But then he pulled out when Trump attacked the family of Humayun Khan, a Muslim-American soldier who’d died in the line of duty. [...]

But for Sondland, those values were apparently malleable. After Trump’s victory, Sondland gave a combined $1 million to Trump’s inaugural committee through four limited liability corporations, as first reported by the Center for Responsive Politics. That put him back in the president’s good graces. Early last year, Trump nominated him to be EU ambassador.

My question is:

Has the pro-Trump media started using any of that against Sondland now?

  • How is this possibly in scope?
    – user9790
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 3:16
  • 2
    @KDog: Are questions about what the media says about politicians (or diplomats) not in scope? Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 3:22
  • 4
    I find it fascinating that the White House says he doesn’t have a “solid source” for something that he says that he, himself said. I’d like to ask a question about that, but I can’t think of a way to do so that wouldn’t be closed as “promote or discredit”.
    – Bobson
    Commented Nov 6, 2019 at 12:56

2 Answers 2


But besides the White House dismissing Sondland's new testimony as not based on a "solid source", has Sondland been the subject of other subsequent criticism, personal attacks in particular, in the media (favoring Trump)?

Yes, Trump has attacked him on Fox & friends for having Hilary Clinton lawyers (whatever that is):

He, and by the way, check out his lawyers, they're Hillary Clinton lawyers. This guy has Hillary Clinton lawyers. They're Democrats.

And on from Trump's Twitter:

“All four of Gordon Sondland’s lawyers are Democrat Donors.” @TuckerCarlson Despite this, big win today for Republicans!

That tweet have 17.7 thousand retweets now, so you could say it's certainly being used as a talking point on social media.


Not quite “Never Trumper,” but the president sought to put the “he doesn’t support me politically” label on Sondland that afternoon:

“I don’t know him very well. I have not spoken to him much. This is not a man I know well. He seems like a nice guy though,” Trump said.

“He was with other candidates. he actually supported other candidates. Not me — came in late,”

From The Hill

It seems that most of the spin for Trump is “Sondland said Trump said he wants nothing!” (see Sean Hannity) but it also seems that the president planted the “he's against me” seed just in case.

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