Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) tweeted on Tuesday that despite what many media headlines are reporting with regards to Ambassador Gordon Sondland's testimony, he did not confirm there was a case of quid pro quo between President Trump and Ukraine.
"Seeing many overblown (and outright false) reports about Ambassador Sondland's testimony. Here's what he actually said. 1. I did not (and still don't) know why aid was held up 2. I 'PRESUMED' it was because of corruption 3. I told Yermak my assumption," said Meadows, who sits on the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
Seeing many overblown (and outright false) reports about Ambassador Sondland's testimony. Here's what he actually said.— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) November 5, 2019
1. I did not (and still don't) know why aid was held up
2. I "PRESUMED" it was because of corruption
3. I told Yermak my assumption
See paragraph 4 here: pic.twitter.com/STZ2vtrVsv
Democrats and the media are seizing on paragraph five of Sondland's update, where he tells Mr. Yermak the aid may not be released without an anti-corruption statement.— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) November 5, 2019
Even *if* you think this is nefarious... Sondland admits in paragraph FOUR this was based on an assumption! https://t.co/OA7MRn5aGf
Sondland also told lawmakers when he talked with Trump about Ukraine, Trump told him, "I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. I want Zelensky to do the right thing."
While it does not look good that Sondland assumed the military aid was tied to a public declaration of an investigation, in his own words, he does not know the exact reason why it was initially withheld. In Kurt Volker's testimony, he said there was no “linkage” between a White House meeting and Ukrainian investigations. He also told lawmakers he did not view the delay in aid to be significant because it was eventually given.
Sondland's text to former Ambassador Bill Taylor is another indicator that he understood Trump's intentions, "I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The president has been crystal clear no quid pro quo's of any kind."
"Both transcripts released today show there is even less evidence for this illegitimate impeachment sham than previously thought," White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement. "Ambassador Sondland squarely states that he 'did not know, (and still does not know) when, why or by whom the aid was suspended.'... By contrast, Volker’s testimony confirms there could not have been a quid pro quo because the Ukrainians did not know about the military aid hold at the time. No amount of salacious media-biased headlines, which are clearly designed to influence the narrative, change the fact that the President has done nothing wrong."