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RUSH: So Ambassador Gordon Sondland is testifying as we speak. He began his testimony this morning, and it’s being regarded by the Drive-By Media as he “dropped bombs,” one “bombshell” after another, supposedly implicating Trump and implicating Rudy Giuliani. There’s one thing… Before we get into the specifics, there’s one thing that I think is missing in all it is, and Devin Nunes tried to get to it when it was his turn to question Ambassador Sondland.

By the way, it might help people to know just who Ambassador Sondland is. There’s just a couple things about him. You remember when Trump was first inaugurated and even during the transition, he was announcing various appointments and members of his staff. Do you remember me saying that some of these staff questions really puzzled me? Well, this one was one of them. Gordon Sondland was a Jeb Bush supporter, number one, and he broke from Trump.

He literally broke away from him. He denounced Trump over the Khizr Khan episode. You know, the Muslim Gold Star family that spoke at the Democrat convention. Sondland reacted to that. Sondland said it disgusted him, it was repulsive and so forth. But then he ended up donating a million dollars or some such thing, and that’s how you buy an ambassadorship. But I never understood it. Somebody that’s a pro-Jeb guy from that wing of the Republican Party and then publicly denounces the Trump candidacy after the Khizr Khan thing, ends up being an ambassador.

So there’s things that I don’t understand. I’m not in that loop. There’s just some things that remain puzzling to me and probably always will. But of all the things that have been said today and of all the things that have been reported, I want you to hear this. It’s Ambassador Sondland being questioned by Adam Schiff, Pencil Neck. It’s audio sound bite number seven on our roster. And the question:

“Mr. Morrison and Ambassador Taylor have related a conversation that you had with the president following the Warsaw meeting in which the president relayed to you that there was no quid pro quo. But, nevertheless, unless Zelensky went to the mic and announced these investigations, there would be a stalemate over the aid. Is that correct? And was that an accurate reflection of your discussion with the president?”

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: So, if you put that together with the testimony that occurred yesterday afternoon while this program was going on and afterwards, we had the witnesses yesterday, Kurt Volker and Morrison. Both of them were on the call with Trump. Both of them were on the Ukraine call. Both of them had firsthand knowledge of Ukraine decisions, and they both testified under oath that there was no bribery and no quid pro quo, and that aid was not held up as a bargaining chip.

And at the end of the day yesterday… Go read Michael Goodwin in the New York Post today, and the Gallup poll is show Trump at new highs at this stage. So after the testimony yesterday, everybody watching had assumed that the bottom had dropped out of the Democrat case. Because the two guys that actually had firsthand knowledge who were on the call testified under oath there was no bribery, there was no quid pro quo, and that aid was not held up as a bargaining chip.

You know why aid was held up? There’s one thing that’s missing: The context on all this. The major context that’s missing — and as I say, Devin Nunes tried to get to it in his questioning of Sondland. Ukraine was a corrupt hellhole under the previous president, not Zelensky, but the president prior to him. During the Obama administration, Ukraine was a corrupt hellhole. And it was during that era that Biden arranged the deal with Burisma for his kid, which is $83,500 a month, three-point-some-odd-million dollars a year.

And the kid doesn’t know anything about natural gas or energy. So during that period, Russia had attacked Ukraine. We did not provide any aid whatsoever, despite being obligated to do so. The Obama administration refused to help Ukraine as Russia came in and literally took one-third of it, with no opposition. We had made a deal with Ukraine: If you will disarm to make Europe safer — if you’ll disarm — we’ll come to your defense if you’re attacked.

They disarmed.

Russia attacked them to annex Crimea.

The Obama administration did not come through with any aid.

Don’t know why. The story is that he didn’t want to irritate Putin. It was Obama who had this soft relationship with Putin, didn’t want to make him mad, didn’t to want disappoint him, what have you. So that all happens. Trump is elected. During the campaign, Ukraine is actively attempting to undermine the Trump campaign. They are working with the Democrats and they are working with the FBI and the DOJ to help concoct this scheme that Trump’s colluding with Russia and all.

Ukraine was up to their eyeballs on this. Ukraine was corrupt as it could be. So Trump knows that Ukraine is corrupt as it can be — and is depending on U.S. aid — and there’s simply no way that he’s going to provide the aid unless they straighten up. He’s not gonna continue U.S. policy of funding corrupt regimes for whatever reason. He’s there to clean it up. He’s there to get the United States out of meaningless relationships.

It’s one of the reasons he was elected. It’s one of the big points that reverberated with the American people. And to do this, Trump had to take on the entire United States foreign policy national security apparatus, who were much in favor of the status quo. Trump wanted to upend it. So there were two things. Trump’s not wanting to just, without any concerns or assurances, fund a regime that’s not gonna reform itself.

He doesn’t want to perpetuate corruption and all kinds of dangerous stuff being done with U.S. money. It makes perfect sense that he would ask for some sign that they were serious about reform before providing U.S. aid — which was ultimately provided, by the way. So the context of this is that Trump knows he’s dealing with a regime, a nation that has just been led by a very corrupt bunch that’s been voted out. That corrupt bunch was working to undermine his election working with the DOJ — the Obama DOJ, the FBI and all that.

Of course he’s not gonna trust these people. He’s gonna have to see some indication that they are serious about reforming before they get U.S. aid. He’s not just gonna provide it willy-nilly. And so asking for some kind of show that the Ukrainian new president, Zelensky, and serious is part of the deal. He’s just not gonna write ’em a blank check. There was no quid pro quo.

Two witnesses yesterday: No bribery, no quid pro quo. Aid was not held up as a bargaining chip. It was held up because Trump wanted to see serious signs of serious reform. Now we go back to Sondland testifying today. He asked Trump an “open-ended question: ‘What do you want from Ukraine?'” He says he wasn’t in a good mood. Trump said, “I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelensky to do the right thing.” Bingo! What’s the problem here?

The problem is that the Democrats have crept up to this by creating this grand illusion that the only thing Trump cared about regarding Ukraine was somehow then engaging in action to penalize Joe Biden. What Trump was interested in in getting to the bottom, why in the world would…? In his mind, here’s Donald Trump. He’s overcome the odds and been elected president. Why in the world would he automatically without challenge send billions of dollars to this country that had just tried to sabotage his own campaign and may continue to sabotage his own presidency until he sees evidence that there has been change or reform?

So now that’s when Rudy Giuliani enters the picture. But we don’t have… Even now, we don’t have a single witness who can say that Trump demanded a quid pro quo. They’re all saying that Rudy did it. They’re all saying Rudy did this and he was speaking for the president. None of these guys wanted to work with Rudy. They didn’t like Rudy. But once again, this is Trump not trusting the existing apparatus that had worked with and had permitted a corrupt Ukraine government to proceed. The Obama administration didn’t care about it.

The Obama administration was more interested in appeasing Russia. They didn’t care about Ukraine. Why the hell were they not providing aid for Ukraine to defend itself when Russia attacked? So context here — and, to me, explaining why Donald Trump does what he does and why he did what he did is easy if you know him. You get some of these career ambassadors and these career State Department national security people who don’t know him and who claim to be shocked by his very existence.

You should have heard Sondland. “This guy, he used a three-letter word! He used the word ‘ass.’ It was… (sputtering) I — I don’t know if I can repeat that.” These guys supposedly offended by what is said to be raw language is wearing so thin on me. We’re talking here about choirboys on the Democrat side, choirboys in the State Department, never even think of curse words? Give me a break. Donald Trump represents such, such a low aberration.

But Schiff now thinks he’s got his article of impeachment, and Ken Starr agrees. Adam Schiff thinks that he’s got an article of impeachment based on obstruction. He even cited Richard Nixon’s name, because Sondland testified today that he wanted all kinds of documents and he wanted all kinds of notes, but the White House and the State Department wouldn’t furnish them and so he couldn’t be sure of things. He’s not a note taker, and he doesn’t recall things specifically like other people who take notes and he’s not given any cooperation.

So Schiff has taken that and said, “See! Obstruction of justice! Exactly what Nixon did.” But to me, just to repeat this: The context of why Donald Trump approached Ukraine the way he did… What people are trying to say is that the only thing Donald Trump cared about regarding Ukraine was making sure that they investigated Joe Biden and his kid. That’s what they want you to believe is the only thing Donald Trump cared about.

The author of the agenda Make America Great Again, who’s honest as the day is long about his feelings of America’s involvement in foreign policy and in the world — that America is not gonna be taken advantage of anymore, that America is not gonna be laughed at, that America is not gonna be assumed to be the open pocket waiting to be picked, that if you’re gonna have an association with the United States. If you’re gonna have a good relationship, then you gotta play ball too.

The days are over where we’re just gonna throw money around the world and hope it buys loyalty. You’re gonna have to show it. Ukraine was a corrupt regime that attempted to sabotage his own campaign — and by the way, under questioning, Sondland claimed to not know any of that. And I believe it! I believe these guys live in a shell. I believe they live in a cloistered little cocoon where they’re ignorant of things that are going on in the real world. Devin Nunes asks, “Are you aware of this Ukraine name and this action?

“Have you read this story in Politico? Have you read this story in the Washington Post describing various efforts by Ukrainians to sabotage the Trump campaign?” “No, I’m not.” How are you not? They’re not because the Drive-By Media didn’t make a big deal out of it until after Trump was about to be inaugurated. The Politico story on Ukraine’s attempts to sabotage Trump happened in January of 2017, and the purpose of the story was Ukraine was scared to death. Trump actually won despite their best efforts to sabotage his campaign.

And now they realize they were gonna have to do a 180 if they were gonna get any aid from the United States, because the guy they tried to smear actually ended up being elected president. And Sondland said, “I didn’t know anything about that. No — no — no, Mr. Chairman, I didn’t know anything about that.” Well, if you don’t know about that, then you can’t possibly understand the context in which all of this stuff in Ukraine happened. And if you don’t know about that, you can’t possibly understand why the whistleblower did what he did and why Vindman did what he did.

Because the efforts to sabotage Donald Trump are ongoing. They have not stopped. They are still happening at full speed — and Trump’s own ambassadorial corps claims not to know about these efforts. “No, I didn’t know about that. (muttering) I…” Well, if you don’t know about that, then there’s no way in hell you can understand Donald Trump’s approach to this. There’s no way in hell you can understand his attitude about this.

If your exposure to this is no different than what it’s always been — State Department thinks this about Ukraine, State Department thinks this about European Union, State Department thinks this about Russia — then there’s no way you’re gonna understand somebody elected president who’s not gonna trust that apparatus. Of course, he’s gonna go get somebody he trusts like Rudy Giuliani to convey his messages to Ukraine.

He doesn’t know who he can trust. At the same time this is going on, he’s dealing with James Comey trying to undermine him with the Steele dossier. All of this stuff is happening at the same time. They’re trying to portray Trump as ignorant and stupid, unqualified, unprepared. For crying out loud, he’s been running rings around these people. They’re embarrassed and they’re ticked off, and this is how they’re trying to cover for the fact that he skunked them at every turn.


RUSH: Grab sound bites 27 and 28. We just got these. The president’s on his way to Austin, Texas, to meet with Tim Cook of Apple. They’re gonna tour the new factory where the new Mac Pro computer is being made. He’s out on the White House lawn on the way to the helicopter and he said this about Ambassador Sondland’s testimony at today’s hearings.

THE PRESIDENT: I just noticed one thing, and I would say that means it’s all over. “What do you want from Ukraine?” He asks me, screaming, “What do you want from Ukraine? I keep hearing all these different ideas and theories.” This is Ambassador Sondland speaking to me, just talking, to which I turned off the television. “What do you want from Ukraine? I keep hearing all these different ideas and theories. What do you want? What do you want? It was a very short and abrupt conversation” that he had with me. He said that I was “not in a good mood.” I’m always in a good mood. I don’t know what that is.

RUSH: By the way, there’s some other stuff about Trump today. Oh, this book that’s out about Trump’s behavior. I can directly contradict much of the stuff in this book, some of the stuff about Trump’s behavioral characteristics. But here is the next sound bite. It continued here…

THE PRESIDENT: Now he’s talking about what’s my response. So he’s going, “What do you want? What do you want? I hear all these theories. What do you want,” right? And now here’s my response that he gave, just gave. Ready? You have the cameras rolling? “I want nothing. That’s what I want from Ukraine.” That’s what I said. “I want nothing.” I said it twice. Now, if you weren’t fake news, you’d cover it properly. I say to the ambassador in response, “I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelensky,” President Zelensky, “to do the right thing.” So here’s my answer: “I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelensky to do the right thing.” Then he says, “This is the final word from the president of the United States: ‘I want nothing.'” Thank you, folks. Have a good time.

RUSH: Does Trump sound a little ticked off to you there? Again, grab sound bite 7. We got time to squeeze it in. Here’s what he’s talking about Sondland said 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: There you go, and that’s what Trump is talking about. He says, “This is over. There’s nothing there. There’s nothing more here. It’s over,” in his mind. Of course, it’s not.


RUSH: This is all so interesting. Ambassador Sondland is now facing the grilling and gruelling question from the Democrat lawyer on the committee. Sondland just now said, “I now know what the quid pro quo was. I didn’t know it at the time. I now know that Trump wanted an investigation of the Bidens and Burisma. But I didn’t know it until now.” He didn’t know it until now? So how does he know it? What, was it whistleblower? Was it the phone call, the transcript of the phone call July 25th?

Sondland said he didn’t know at the time. If he didn’t know at the time, how big a deal could it have been? Do you realize how many of these witnesses in these four or five days of hearings have cited media reports? These are the people about whom media stories are written. And yet these guys, many of them are claiming, “I didn’t know it ’til I read it in the media that X was happening or this was happening.” So here’s Trump’s ambassador to the European Union.

Sondland’s the ambassador to the European Union. He says, “I now know what the quid pro quo was.” I assumed… I haven’t heard this, I can only assume he was talking about when Trump told Zelensky to “do the right thing.” He’s now thinking “do the right thing” means investigate the Bidens and Burisma. But Trump also said, “I don’t care. I don’t want anything. I don’t want a quid pro quo. I don’t want anything. I just want Zelensky to do the right thing.”

I also got a couple of emails during the break. “Rush, you keep talking about a Politico story about Ukrainians trying to sabotage Trump. What is that?” It’s a great question. It was a Politico story, but it was completely ignored. Not by Politico. I mean, they ran it. They didn’t amplify it and it didn’t show up anywhere else. It ran on January 11, 2017, and this is 20 days or 10 days before Trump is inaugurated. And the headline of the story:

“Ukrainian Efforts to Sabotage Trump Backfire.” It’s a story by Kenneth Vogel. It’s a reminder, it’s an inconvenient truth for the Democrats. They can pretend that Trump didn’t know this, but reality’s a stubborn thing. And it’s all part of being able to understand the context in which all of a sudden happened. And here’s how this story begins: “Donald Trump wasn’t the only presidential candidate whose campaign was boosted by officials of a former Soviet bloc country.

“Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. They also disseminated documents implicating a top Trump aide in corruption” that would be Manafort, and suggested they were investigating the matter, only to back away after the election.” They were full speed ahead trying to destroy Trump, take him out, until Trump wins. And this story: “Ukrainian Efforts to Sabotage Trump Backfire,” subhead, “Kiev officials are scrambling to make amends with the president-elect after quietly working to boost Clinton.”

Ambassador Sondland said he didn’t know anything about this, and I’m sure Vindman didn’t know anything about this, and I’m sure that Jennifer what’s her name yesterday, Williams, didn’t know anything about it. I’m that you’re that Yovanovitch didn’t know anything about it. I’m sure none of these people knew anything about it. As far as they were concerned, the only efforts being made to undermine the election were Trump with Russia, which has been exposed as a hoax.

“Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. [T]hey helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisers, a Politico investigation found. A Ukrainian-American operative who was consulting for the Democratic National Committee met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia…”

So Ukraine was right there. The corrupt Ukraine demanding American aid was right there helping whoever from the Obama administration was running this coup against Donald Trump. Ukraine was right there, and then they had to do a quick 180 when their efforts failed and Trump was elected. And that’s what this story is about, January 11, 2017. So you have to throw this in as part of the context to explain Trump’s attitude toward Ukraine and his desire to see proof from the new president that they were serious about reforming and getting rid of the corruption which had been aimed at him.

And while all of that’s going on, Trump is dealing with the Steele dossier and the James Comey effort with Clapper and Brennan to set him up. Even before he was inaugurated, they’re looking for ways to get the Steele dossier disseminated into the mainstream media. At this point, Trump doesn’t know who to trust but everywhere he looks in official Washington he sees people that want to do him harm. Everywhere he looks he sees people — including in the Republican Party — attempting to sabotage and undermine him.

So to me, the context of this is quite necessary in order to explain not just Trump’s actions but his thinking as well. This charade, this impeachment inquiry and the ongoing effort to prove that Trump colluded with Russia is nothing more than the people who think they’ve been wronged by virtue of Trump winning the election. Something that they can’t abide, something they can’t digest, something they still cannot accept.

Now, the 2016 efforts that Ukraine made are the central focus of Trump’s inquiry with Zelensky, the new president of Ukraine. Because look at it from Trump’s standpoint again. Here during the corrupt period of Ukraine, during the Obama administration, they’ve got a deal with the sitting vice president and his son that is paying the sitting vice president’s son $83,500 a month, $3.1 million a year. It’s a no-show job, and it’s simply… It’s a payoff, when you get right down to it.

It is the corrupt government of Ukraine buying a relationship with the Obama administration via the vice president. It’s in this midst that the vice president, Joe Biden, has bragged about getting a prosecutor in Ukraine fired because he’s getting too close to his son, getting too close to Burisma. Biden got the guy fired by threatening to withhold further aid. Does any of this sound familiar? It was Biden who told Ukrainians, “If you don’t believe me, call Barack. Barack will tell you. The money isn’t coming until you get rid of this prosecutor.

“I’m leaving at 5 o’clock today, and I better hear from you,” and they did. Within six hours they fired the prosecutor. Biden was happy. His son wasn’t gonna be investigated, and they get the money. Same bunch of people trying to undermine Trump’s campaign in 2016. The witness testifying today claims to not know about any of this. Then he said, “Biden’s name never came up in everything. Burisma now and then, but Biden, didn’t know any of this.

“No, I didn’t know that Ukraine was attempting to undermine the president’s campaign. No, no. I didn’t know that.” So if you’re Donald Trump, you’re looking at this. You’re looking at the Democrat Party getting away with literal real corruption and family payoffs while they’re trying to railroad him out of town on a bunch of stuff that’s made up and so far from the truth the distance is incalculable. Think you’d be a little ticked off too.

Now you’ve got your ambassadorial corps and your national security apparatus telling you you’ve got to give aid to Ukraine. They’ve got a new president. We’ve got all these witnesses who have made it clear, they value Ukraine. It’s their post. Ukraine is all they care about. “Ukraine and Keev! We love the Ukrainians. They’re great ally and we must do everything!” Trump’s being pressured. “Give ’em the aid, give them the assistance, and do it through the usual normal channels.” They’re demanding it happen.

Trump’s saying, “Wait, wait, wait. I’m gonna need some kind of evidence that I’m not throwing money down a corrupt rat hole,” and one of the ways he wants to see that is if they will actually investigate the previous government’s corruption in trying to undermine his campaign. It makes perfect sense. But you have to understand the context, and you have to appreciate who Donald Trump is. They’re trying to literally criminalize all of this as bribery, as a quid pro quo.

At the end of the day, the witnesses yesterday on the call with direct knowledge, said there was no quid pro quo. There were no demands. Sondland today says the president told him, “I don’t want anything from Ukraine. There’s no quid pro quo. I just want Zelensky to do the right thing.” All the other witnesses are hearsay, secondhand, thirdhand. They don’t have any firsthand knowledge at all.

But Schiff has now got his article of impeachment. He’s got his obstruction of justice and cover-up article of impeachment. He could barely contain himself. So when I take a break we’ll come back and get started on the sound bites, and I want you to be prepared ’cause if you haven’t heard them, they’re gonna make you livid.


RUSH: All right. Stand by sound bite number 1. By the way, ladies and gentlemen, since we’re using the time machine to go back to the Grooveyard of Forgotten News stories, I’m holding here in my formerly nicotine-stained fingers an editorial from the New York Times on December 12th of 2015. The subject of this New York Times editorial is Joe Biden and his kid. The New York Times editorial on December 12th, 2015, is calling for Hunter Biden to resign from Burisma. I have it right here.

New York Times, December 12, 2015. The headline: “Joe Biden Lectures Ukraine.” It’s all about Crimea being seized by the Russians while Biden’s kid gets rich, and they say it’s a bad look and that Hunter Biden needs to resign. Now, skip forward four years to today and the New York Times and the rest of the Drive-By Media thinks there’s nothing wrong with it. “Hunter Biden working for Burisma? Not even working for, just showing up!

“Not even showing up, just getting $3.1 million a year. Nothing to see there!” This goes well with The Politico story January 11, 2017, Ukraine having to do a 180 after attempting to sabotage Trump’s election; now trying to get back on Trump’s good side. I was happy to see, by the way, Devin Nunes just picked up this whole notion with Sondland of what all had happened to Trump to explain the context of all of this.

Sondland’s sitting there like a bump on a log, acting like he doesn’t know any of it. He’s not even acting like any of it moves him — and you can’t understand any of this without that context. This context is being studiously, purposely ignored just as the Democrats’ effort to run this coup is being ignored, just as the failure of the Mueller investigation is being ignored. And far as anybody is concerned, the only thing that’s ever come up that they tried to get Trump on is this phone call to the president of Ukraine.

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