CNN’s Jake Tapper was roundly mocked on Twitter Wednesday after calling a section from the first public impeachment hearing a “bombshell.”
2/ "...in the presence of my staff at a restaurant, Ambassador Sondland called President Trump and told him of his meetings in Kyiv. The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone, asking Ambassador Sondland about 'the investigations.'...— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 13, 2019
4/"...Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for...— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) November 13, 2019
"It is my understanding that the Committee is following up on this matter."
Here was the full statement from former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor's testimony:
Last Friday, a member of my staff told me of events that occurred on July 26. While Ambassador Volker and I visited the front, this member of my staff accompanied Ambassador Sondland. Ambassador Sondland met with Mr. Yermak. Following that meeting, in the presence of my staff at a restaurant, Ambassador Sondland called President Trump and told him of his meetings in Kyiv. The member of my staff could hear President Trump on the phone, asking Ambassador Sondland about “the investigations.” Ambassador Sondland told President Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward. Following the call with President Trump, the member of my staff asked Ambassador Sondland what President Trump thought about Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland responded that President Trump cares more about the investigations of Biden, which Giuliani was pressing for. At the time I gave my deposition on October 22, I was not aware of this information.
This "bombshell" was Taylor basically describing a game of telephone that began from an eavesdropper. Critics were quick to inform Tapper this was most certainly not a bombshell.
"Bombshell" LOL https://t.co/TSFXLBbFtQ— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) November 14, 2019
“Bombshell?” https://t.co/xOYkBmb0N0— Brit Hume (@brithume) November 14, 2019
If you can’t even fit the new fact you’re hyperventilating about into your tweet, it’s not a bombshell. https://t.co/mfKSEg0QRZ— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) November 14, 2019
BOMBSHELL!!! (Or How The Left Media Echoes Itself to Portray An Eavesdropper’s ‘Overheard Phonecall’ as a ‘Major Development) https://t.co/KVHQ9LWXbp— Raheem Kassam (@RaheemKassam) November 13, 2019
Breitbart also pointed out that the timeline of this game of telephone came one day after President Trump's phone call with Ukrainian President Zelensky, so whatever this staffer supposedly overheard would likely be similar to what was said on the phone call, of which we have the transcript.
According to Taylor, the staffer said Sondland said that the president “cares more about the investigations” of Biden. If Sondland did say that, it would be Sondland’s opinion and also not surprising, since Sondland has already testified that Trump did not care much for Ukraine, given that he believed that Ukraine had worked against him in the 2016 election.
Taylor’s comments, however, raise questions about Sondland’s testimony. Sondland testified that he never heard the president ask for investigations, only that Giuliani asked for them, presumably on behalf of the president. However, Sondland’s memory throughout the testimony appeared shaky.
While Republicans, especially Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), did a great job stressing that Taylor's testimony was unverifiable hearsay, even CNN's legal analyst agreed it's a big problem for Democrats that their key witnesses never met President Trump.
Adam Schiff has lost CNN:— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) November 13, 2019
CNN’s Toobin: neither witness “had direct contact with the president…that’s a problem” pic.twitter.com/4mpgk6fDhS