Trump's memo to self on Sondland testimony: 'I want nothing'

Photos captured President Trump’s notes as he made his first public appearance after damning impeachment testimony from Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

Appearing on the White House lawn as he departed for a visit to Texas, Trump held an Air Force One notepad with notations he had made with a black marker.

They read:

“Ambas Gordon Sondland says what do you want from Ukraine I keep hearing all these different ideas & theories. What do you want. It was a very short, abrupt conversation. He was not in a good mood. He just said

I want nothing

I want nothing

I want no quid pro quo.

Tell Zellinsky [sic] to do the right thing

This is the last final word from the pres of the U.S.”

U.S. President Donald Trump holds what appears to be a prepared statement and handwritten notes after watching testimony by U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland as he speaks to reporters prior to departing for travel to Austin, Texas from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, U.S., November 20, 2019. (Photo: Erin Scott/Reuters)
President Trump holds what appears to be handwritten notes after watching testimony by Gordon Sondland as he speaks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House on Wednesday. (Photo: Erin Scott/Reuters)

Earlier Wednesday morning, Sondland said that there was a clear demand from the president for Ukraine to announce an investigation into the dealings of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter in exchange for a White House meeting between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to Sondland, a number of officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani pressured Ukraine to investigate Democrats “because the president directed us to do so.”

Trump read the note, recounting a Sept. 9 phone conversation with Sondland in which he dictated a response to assuage concerns from diplomat Bill Taylor, who had texted Sondland his concern that “it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”

Trump said of Sondland, “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.” In October, Trump tweeted that Sondland, a businessman who donated $1 million to the president’s inauguration committee prior to his appointment as an ambassador, was “a really good man and great American.” Trump disputed Sondland’s assessment that he wasn’t in a good mood, saying, “I’m always in a good mood, I don’t know what that is.”

The president did not take questions prior to boarding Marine One.

President Donald Trump talks to the media on his way to the Marine One helicopter, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, as he leaves the White House in Washington, en route to Texas. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)
President Trump talks to the media on Wednesday on his way to Marine One to depart for a trip to Texas. (Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)


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