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In newly disclosed text messages shared with Congress, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine at the time writes to a group of other American diplomats that "I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”
The exchange, provided by former U.S Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker as part of his closed-door deposition before multiple House committees Thursday, shows what appears to be encrypted text messages he exchanged with two other American diplomats in September regarding aid money President Donald Trump ordered to be held back from Ukraine.
In the exchange, obtained by ABC News, the concerns are expressed by Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine. Gordon Sondland, the United States Ambassador to the European Union, responds to Taylor, saying that charge is "incorrect," insisting the president has been “crystal clear no quid pro quo of any kind”.
Sondland then suggests to the group take the conversations off line, typing “I suggest we stop the back and forth by text.” It’s unclear if the conversation continues, based on the material obtained by ABC News.
Sondland, a hotelier and Republican megadonor, contributed over $1 million to the president’s inaugural committee before eventually being nominated and confirmed to the top role as the United States representative to the European Union. .
Taylor is a career foreign service officer who has served as the top diplomat in Kyiv since May, when Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was recalled by the administration. Yovanovitch had been smeared by President Trump’s personal attorney Rudolph Giuliani for months as blocking Ukrainian investigations into corruption -- an allegation the State Department at the time called an "outright fabrication" that "does not correspond to reality."
But Trump referred to Yovanovitch as "bad news" in his controversial July 25 call with Ukraine’s President Zelenskiy.
The texts came just days before the White House released the military assistance to Ukraine -- almost $400 million from the State Department and Pentagon meant to boost the U.S. partner against Russian aggression.
The US diplomat to Ukraine certainly thought there was quid pro quo going on. The guy who donated a million bucks to Trump to buy himself the ambassadorship to the European Union said "No it's not, also let's stop texting about this."
These idiots are so bad at this it's funny.