1

In her written (Nov 5) deposition ambassador Yovanovitch related the following meeting with Sondland, in which Sondland asked her to "go big or go home":

Yovanovitch said she raised concerns about the Trump administration’s actions in Ukraine and the reports in U.S. media against her with Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union. In response, he encouraged her to tweet her support for Trump on social media.

“He said, ‘You know, you need to go big or go home,’” she recalled. ”’You need to, you know, tweet out there that you support the president.”

It was advice, she said, as a nonpartisan ambassador, “I did not see how I could implement.”

Did Sondland subsequently confirm having made this request or suggestion that Yovanovitch should start tweeting in support of Trump?

2

Sondland testified that he did not recall doing that.

SCHIFF (Chairman): If I could just interject. I'm sorry, Mr. Goldman. I just want to get further clarification. Is it your recollection, Ambassador, that you never advised Ambassador Yovanovitch to go big, make a public statement of full-throated support of the President?

SONDLAND: I honestly don't recall. I honestly don't.

GOLDMAN (Majority Counsel): Would it surprise you if someone else said that you did do that?

SONDLAND: Probably, yeah. GOLDMAN: Would it surprise you-

SONDLAND: I don't know that we had - I'm trying to remember that we ever had a career conversation, because I wasn't really involved in her career. I've had career conversations with others. I don't recall having one with her.

SCHIFF: Do you think it would have been appropriate for an ambassador to voice personal political support for the President rather than advocate for the issues important to Ukraine?

SONDLAND: No, no, I think it's always more appropriate to advocate support for the country that you're assigned to, not for - your political hat is off.

Later:

CASTOR (Minority Counsel): Okay. Did Ambassador Yovanovitch lean on you for counseling?

SONDLAND: We may have - I don't remember. I honestly don't remember the conversation. I'm not denying it occurred. I just don't remember.

CASTOR: Okay. So to the best of your recollection, you never-

SONDLAND: It wasn't, you know, a momentous enough conversation that I would have remembered it.

CASTOR: Okay. You never encouraged her, to the best of your recollection, to tweet or something to that effect, support of the President?

SONDLAND: Again, I don't - would I swear 100 percent I didn't, no, but I don't- I just don't remember it.

CASTOR: That's all we're asking you, is your best recollection as you sit here today.

SONDLAND: Yeah, I don't- I don't- I don't remember it. I think I was writing reviews for all my employees at the time, so I was a little preoccupied.

  • So not a 'Woah, no, that doesn't sound like anything I would do" sort of objection, more of a "Um...I don't actually recall this particular instance of me trying to encourage someone in an impartial position to take sides" – Lio Elbammalf Nov 25 '19 at 9:15
  • @LioElbammalf Exactly. He's not denying the substance as something he 'would' say, just questioning whether he 'did' say that 'to her' 'then'. – Carduus Nov 25 '19 at 14:39

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