Trump Distances Himself From Sondland In Rambling Press Gaggle

President Donald Trump said Friday the attorney for the whistleblower in the Ukraine case should be “sued” for “treason” during a tirade against the impeachment inquiry in front of reporters outside the White House.

He also said the whistleblower gave a “fake report” of Trump’s phone call with Ukraine’s president, despite the fact that it was supported by the rough transcript of the call released by the White House. 

During the tirade, Trump also insisted he “hardly knows” Gordon Sondland, who donated $1 million to Trump’s inauguration committee and was appointed by the president to be the American ambassador to the European Union. A month ago, Trump called Sondland a “really good man and a great American.”

On Monday, Sondland modified his initial testimony before House lawmakers. He said that Trump’s pressure on Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to launch an investigation into Joe Biden was effectively a quid pro quo for U.S. military aid being withheld by Trump. Sondland said he told a top Zelensky adviser that “resumption of the U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks.”

But Trump also insisted Sondland hadn’t changed his testimony. “This is the man who said there was no quid pro quo — and he still says that … and he hasn’t changed that testimony,” Trump said.

Trump went on to complain about the House of Representative’s ongoing impeachment inquiry, saying he doesn’t want the hearings to be done in public (despite calls by Republican leaders in the House and Senate to do just that). The first public hearings are to begin next week. 

“They shouldn’t be having public hearings. This is a hoax,” Trump said, while also insisting that he’s “not concerned about anything.”

Trump added there was another, earlier call with Ukrainian leaders, and said he would be willing to share the transcript.

At one point, Trump exploded at a reporter who asked why the Department of Justice hasn’t launched an investigation into Biden if there is any substance to Trump’s claims of corruption. He responded: “Be quiet. Quiet! Quiet! Quiet!” 

Trump also said that he is considering accepting Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invitation to attend Russia’s May Day parade, which celebrates that nation’s military.