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RUSH: So what we’ve learned so far today, Ambassador Sondland says that Trump never told him directly that aid was tied to an announcement of investigations, and yet the news of the day is that Sondland has dropped a bomb, that Trump demanded a quid pro quo — and yet there are two different quotes from Sondland today in which it is pointed out that he says the exact opposite, and this is one of them. Trump never told Sondland directly.

Sondland said he never told Sondland directly that aid was tied to an announcement of investigations. Sondland today says, “I now know what it was for. (muttering) I now know it was the investigation of the Bidens.” He said, “I didn’t know what it was tied previously to that.” But the big bombshell today is Gordon Sondland testified this morning that there was a quid pro quo and that Trump ordered it and that everybody knew it and that it was delivered through Rudy Giuliani.

The problem is this is not what Sondland said in his deposition in the basement room of the Capitol where Schiff was running the closed-door hearings, nor did he say this in his amended testimony, which we heard all about when that happened. I mean, that was earth-shattering, big, earth-breaking news, that Sondland had amended his testimony after hearing what some other people had said. I don’t remember the particulars of it.

I just remember that he had amended it. In the depositions and in his amended testimony, Sondland said he presumed there was a quid pro quo but that he didn’t have any basis for that presumption other than what he had read in the media or heard other people say. And contrary to saying that Trump ordered it, Gordon Sondland said that Trump told him directly there was no quid pro quo and that he was counting on Zelensky to do the right thing on his own.

Can I be the only one here confused by this? We have reported bombshells that Gordon Sondland testified that there was a quid pro quo, and yet… Here. Grab audio sound bite number 7 again. (Drudge Report) “Ambassador Drops Bombs! Followed President’s Orders! Giuliani Pushed Quid Pro Quo. Pence knew. Pompeo knew.” Sondland has brought everybody in this administration in on this, by the way. They all knew it. They were all guilty. They were all part of it.

And yet Sondland… This is actual testimony from Sondland, audio sound bite number seven from this morning…

SONDLAND: I believe I just asked him an open-ended question, Mr. Chairman. “What do you want from Ukraine? I keep hearing all these different ideas and theories and this and that. What do you want?” And it was a very short, abrupt conversation. He was not in a good mood. And he just said, “I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelensky to do the right thing.” Something to that effect.

RUSH: Right. Okay. So that seems pretty obvious that Sondland said Trump did not specify a quid pro quo, and yet the bombshell news of the day is that Sondland said there was a quid pro quo. So the Democrats pounced, and Schiff declared a bathroom break so that he could hold a press conference to announce Sondland’s bombshell testimony and to give the networks time to really drive this home.

Schiff said, “You know, before we go to Republicans, let’s take a break. We’ll take a break out here,” and the networks all convened back on their panels and then it was moments later, “Oops! breaking news! Adam Schiff is at the podium,” and that is where he announced — and let me pull that up again. It is number one. This is what Schiff said during supposed bathroom break.

SCHIFF: I think today’s testimony, uh, is among the most significant evidence to date. And what we have just heard from Ambassador Sondland is that the knowledge of this scheme, this conditioning, uh, of the White House meeting, of the security assistance to get the deliverable the president wanted — these two political investigations that he believed would help his reelection campaign — was a basic quid pro quo. It was the conditioning of official acts for something of great value to the president, these political investigations. It goes right to the heart of the issue of bribery as well as other potential high crimes or misdemeanors.

RUSH: Right. So there. He got the word “bribery” in, and he made sure that Pelosi’s promise that these hearings would reveal bribery was apparently kept as well. I’m looking for a sound bite that I’ve already misplaced, and it’s Schiff. I know it’s number 29. Oh, this is where Schiff supposedly outs Biden and Burisma. But I can’t find it. So I’ll save it for when I can find it. Ah. I got it. Here we go.

We’re gonna move forward. Audio sound bite number 29. This was pretty recent. This is within the last hour and a half. This is Adam Schiff apparently hanging the Bidens here but not aware of it, I’m told. I haven’t heard the bite; so let me listen to this and I’ll characterize after that. Schiff is asking Sondland about the connection between Burisma and Vice President Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, and Sondland’s response…

SCHIFF: You testified in response to my colleagues in the minority something along the lines of a lot of people did not make the connection between Burisma and Biden. I think a lot of people have real difficulty understanding that. Tim Morrison testified that I think it took him all of doing a Google search to find out, “Oh, this is the significance of Burisma. It involves the Bidens.” Are you saying during all this time up until the call you never made the connection between Burisma and the Bidens? You just thought that the president and Rudy Giuliani were interested in this one particular Ukrainian company?

SONDLAND: Again, my role, Mr. Chairman, was just to get the meeting.

SCHIFF: Well, I understand that. But my question is, are you saying that for months and months — notwithstanding everything Rudy Giuliani was saying on TV and all the discussion with Rudy Giuliani — that you never put Burisma together with the Bidens?

SONDLAND: I didn’t, and I wasn’t paying attention to what Mr. Giuliani was saying on TV. (snickers) We were talking to him directly.

RUSH: Right. So Schiff has just connected Burisma and the Bidens. Now, Schiff doesn’t know that he’s done it. He thinks he’s exonerated it because he got an answer from Sondland, “Oh, no, no, I didn’t know about that.” See, Sondland is golden today. As far as the Democrats are concerned, whatever Sondland says is gold — and if Sondland did not know that Burisma meant the Bidens, then it couldn’t have meant the Bidens. (Snort!) But this just feeds into my theory that these people don’t even understand Trump’s motivations.

The people working for him don’t even understand his motivations. Here is Trump’s ambassador — a Republican — to the European Union admitting that he had no idea that when he heard the name of the company “Burisma,” that it had anything to do with the Bidens. The New York Times editorialized back in 2015 that Hunter Biden should resign because of illicit deal. Now they don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. But back in 2012, Obama has just been reelected.

The Democrats in the media looking for clean slate for the guy. There’s a lot of dirt out there. They’re already talking about the upcoming Democrat presidential campaign for 2016. They gotta clean things up. They need Hunter Biden to get out of there. Now it’s no big deal. But the fact that Gordon Sondland said he had no idea that Burisma equals or includes the Bidens means that he cannot possibly understand what Trump’s real motivations here were. Earlier today, Sondland made it clear he had no idea that Ukraine was involved in trying to undermine Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Now, Sondland’s a Jeb Bush Republican, came to Trump late — even though he abandoned Trump for a time during the Democrat convention when Trump said what he said about Khizr Khan, the Gold Star military family. He lost a son and was testifying against Trump, speaking against Trump at the Democrat National Convention. Trump reacted to it, and Sondland was supposedly offended greatly and denounced Trump — and then somehow ends up as Trump’s ambassador at the European Union, because he donated a million dollars to Trump’s inauguration ball or committee or transition, whatever it was.

But none of these people, none of these people had any idea. Look, you’ll have to forgive me for overworking this if that’s what you think. But the context of this is crucial, and Devin Nunes tried to get to it. You can’t possibly understand what Trump was attempting to do with Ukraine if you don’t know about Ukraine’s effort to undermine him in 2016, if you don’t know how corrupt the Ukranian government was prior to President Zelensky.

If I don’t understand the Trump campaign promise not to just give away American foreign aid dollars anymore. We weren’t gonna give money away to people that were not really allies — and here is a country that had worked to undermine his election. It makes perfect sense Donald Trump thinks they do not deserve American foreign aid, that they’re going to have to show that they are reformed, that they are new and anti-corruption.

And not just him, not just against him, but all told. The Russians annexed Crimea away from Ukraine. Nobody tried to stop them. Ukraine couldn’t. They didn’t have any arms, after Obama had demanded they disarm in exchange for us coming to their defense, which we didn’t do. But none of this is hard to understand if you understand Donald Trump, if you really understand him, and if you really understand the role Ukraine played.

As far as Donald Trump’s concerned, Ukraine was James Comey, Ukraine was Strzok Smirk, Ukraine was Brennan and Clapper. They had all tried to undermine his election and they are still trying to undermine his presidency. You think Trump is just gonna hand over billions of dollars in aid without getting some sign, some evidence that this new president is not of the same frame of mind as the old, corrupt one?

“Yeah, but, Rush, Trump apparently was demanding that they investigate Burisma and the Bidens. I mean, that’s kind of…” Well, Burisma’s a corrupt enterprise as evidenced by the deal with Joe Biden. What is so strange about getting to the bottom of it? If you pledge to the new president that you’re gonna reform your country, you’re gonna go anti-corruption, you gotta go after something like Burisma. That’s one of the ways you could prove it.

When Trump says, “I want Zelensky to do the right thing,” it’s obviously what it is, among many other things he could do. There might have been conditions on assistance. At the end of the day, they got it. It’s another thing that’s not being mentioned today. Ukraine got their assistance, and there was no investigation of the Bidens. So based on a bunch of hearsay, what Donald Trump supposedly wanted from third and fourth-party participants to all this, we’ve got bribery, and we have impeachable offenses.

So we’ll see how this goes this afternoon, if somebody can make this context case. I tell you, folks, I find myself in a situation here that I frequently am in, which is things to me that seem easily understandable and explainable — and in light of that, some of this is really a big deal, that this can all be blown away and swatted away — and I seem to be the only one who thinks so.

I seem to be the only person that I know of with this attitude about it. Well, that’s partially because I understand the details of it, and I have knowledge. I know Trump. I know how he thinks, I know who he is, and I know the history of this. Trump’s own ambassador claims not to know anything about Ukraine’s attempts to sabotage his campaign. That’s what he says. I guess since this is Believe Everything Gordon Sondland Says Day, that we’ll have to believe him when he says that.


RUSH: I continue get a quick snapshot of things during commercial breaks, and I’ve got my little spies feeding me little tidbits of what is happening. Apparently, this happened after the program began today. The lackey for Adam Schiff is this guy named Goldman. He’s an MSNBC guy. He’s acting as the staff counsel for the Democrats, and he’s one of Pencil Neck’s lackeys up there — and apparently, he refused to believe Sondland couldn’t remember various things.

Sondland made a big deal in his opening statement of the fact he’s not a note taker. He’s not one of those people that takes notes all the time; so therefore, he doesn’t have a self-kept record of meetings and conversations, and so the State Department and other places in got there have not let him see things, documents and other things that would help him to, quote, “refresh his memory.” Have you ever been suspect of that phrase, “refresh your memory”? That has gnawed at me ever since the Watergate hearings.

“Allow me to refresh my memory on that.” What it means, “Oh, yeah, you caught me in a lie. Let me see if I can remember another lie to tell you to get out of the first one.” “Oh, yes. Let me refresh my memory.” Well, Sondland has used his lack of being a note taker as a crutch today, to not be able to provide firm answers on some things. So he’s saying, “To the best of my recollection… Something like that… Yeah, I think that’s pretty close… Yeah, that might work.”

And it’s been very frustrating even to Schiff’s lackey, Mr. Goldman, who at one point grew so impatient that he kept demanding answers. After Sondland would give him an answer that he didn’t want, he kept demanding, “I think you can do better than that. I think you can refresh your memory again. No, no, no. That doesn’t work. Can you refresh your memory again?” Finally, Sondland got frustrated and said again, “Donald Trump never talked to me about any security aid ever.”

“Donald Trump never talked to me about any security aid,” meaning defensive military assistance for Ukraine, “ever.” So there can’t have been a quid pro quo from Trump that Sondland can say existed, and Sondland has pointedly said that Trump said that there wasn’t a quid pro quo and that he didn’t want a quid pro quo. And yet the Drive-By Media bombshell is, or story is that the bombshell is: “Sondland has confirmed that Trump demanded a quid pro quo!”

Also, I must point out that the estimable Chris Wallace on Fox News noticed something that I noticed. And he referenced it. And it was that Sondland claimed not to know that Bidens had anything to do with Burisma, and Sondland has said numerous timed today that he didn’t learn until recently that whenever the word “Burisma” was mentioned in any of this that it included the Bidens. And Chris Wallace said, “That’s just hard to believe. How can you not know?

“You’re an ambassador to the European Union. You’ve been around all it is stuff for years. How in the world could you not know that Burisma only means anything to anybody because of the Bidens and their association with it?” And as Chris Wallace said, “All you’d have to do is Google it. If the Google the word ‘Burisma’ the first thing you ever see is a picture of Joe Biden and his adult son, Hunter Biden.” I have been admonished for calling Biden’s kid a kid.

“He’s not a ‘kid,’ Mr. Limbaugh. He’s a 49-year-old, unaccomplished, deadbeat adult. Do not call him a kid. ‘Kid’ gives him an excuse.” Okay. All right, all right. I’m sorry. He’s a 49-year-old who hasn’t accomplished anything other than getting the $3.1 million has dad arranged for him young man — uh — middle-aged guy. But, anyway, it is odd that Sondland doesn’t know about Burisma. And I believe it! That’s the difference.

Chris Wallace think, “Ahhhh, there’s something shady.” No! Chris, these guys don’t know jack about what Trump has gone through. They don’t know jack about Ukraine’s involvement in trying to sabotage his campaign. They have no idea that the Bidens are up to their eyeballs in scandal in Ukraine. They have no idea — and if they did know, they probably wouldn’t care because the Democrats have a license to steal stuff like this.

So I believe these people don’t know jack. I think they’re so caught up in their own self-importance, in their own egos, I think they only read select cables, dispatches, and the New York Times — and the Washington Post Style section to see if they’re in it. If the party they attended might have been mentioned in the Style section, and if so, are there pictures? I can totally believe that Sondland hasn’t the slightest idea.

Now, you might, “Rush, come on. That’s not possible. It’s not possible this guy doesn’t know that the Bidens are up to it hip deep in Burisma.” Yes, it is, folks. This is the thing. It is entirely possible that these epitome of State Department employees are blithering ignoramuses. It is entirely feasible — and by ignorant, I’m not saying stupid. I’m saying they don’t know. It’s entirely possible. They are so compartmentalized in their own world, which revolves around them. Sondland had nothing to do with Ukraine while all that was going on.

His wife is a big real estate babe from Portland, I think. She’s in the hotel business. He’s a socialite. It has been said of Gordon Sondland that if you’re in a room and you want to find out who the most powerful person in the room is, find Sondland ’cause he’ll be standing next to him. He seeks the most powerful people and sidles up to ’em. I don’t know Gordon Sondland. I couldn’t tell you. All I can do… It’s because I know the professional political elites. I know that class.

I know that substrata of humanity and I know how they think, and I know of their arrogance — and, believe me, to me it’s entirely possible he does not associate Biden with Burisma or vice-versa. And therefore, it’s entirely possible that all of this made no sense to him and that Trump could be a Looney Tune. It’s entirely possible Sondland said, “Burisma? Who the hell cares about Burisma? What’s Burisma got to do with American foreign policy? I don’t know.”

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