News

White House

Ex-White House Adviser Saw U.S. Ambassador Sondland as a ‘Security Risk’: Report

U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland poses in Brussels, Belgium, June 4, 2019. (Francois Lenoir/Reuters)

Former White House foreign-policy adviser Fiona Hill told House impeachment investigators on Monday that U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland was a potential “security risk” because he came so unprepared to the job, according to the New York Times.

Sondland is a key figure in House Democrats impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s actions. Senator Ron Johnson (R., Wisc.) has stated that on August 30 Sondland told him Trump had withheld military aid from Ukraine to pressure the country to conduct investigations damaging to political rival Joe Biden. Trump, speaking to Johnson the next day, denied Sondland’s assertion.

In her testimony, Hill did not allege that Sondland would willingly compromise national security. But, according to the Times, she believed that his lack of experience, excessive use of a personal cell phone for diplomatic business, and repeated unofficial invitations to foreign officials to visit the White House left him vulnerable to exploitation by foreign intelligence services.

Sondland’s lawyer declined to comment on the matter. Sondland is scheduled to testify before House Democrats conducting the impeachment inquiry on Thursday, despite an order from the State Department that he not appear. House investigators are expected to quiz him about series of text messages he exchanged with U.S. diplomat William Taylor, which has become a focus of the probe.

On August 9, Taylor, who is stationed in Kyiv, wrote to Sondland, “As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.”

Sondland then called President Trump, according to the Wall Street Journal, and replied to Taylor four hours later with a message he’s reportedly expected to tell House investigators was composed by Trump himself.

“Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions,” Sondland wrote. “The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind.”

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

How a U2 Anthem Defined Generation X

In Cameron Crowe’s Say Anything... (1989), Lloyd Dobler sketches out a stumbling, uncertain-but-nevertheless-determined path for his and my generation: “I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or ... Read More

How a U2 Anthem Defined Generation X

In Cameron Crowe’s Say Anything... (1989), Lloyd Dobler sketches out a stumbling, uncertain-but-nevertheless-determined path for his and my generation: “I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or ... Read More
Economy & Business

Is Biden Lying about Taxes?

A number of commenters to this post raise the possibility that Biden is lying when he says he won't raise taxes on households making less than $400,000. He might be. Maybe as president he would propose a tax increase on people making more than that, watch congressional Democrats lower the threshold, and then say ... Read More
Economy & Business

Is Biden Lying about Taxes?

A number of commenters to this post raise the possibility that Biden is lying when he says he won't raise taxes on households making less than $400,000. He might be. Maybe as president he would propose a tax increase on people making more than that, watch congressional Democrats lower the threshold, and then say ... Read More
Elections

Biden’s Middle-Class Tax Pledge

Biden is pledging not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year. As I note in my Bloomberg Opinion column, Democratic proposals to increase income taxes keep getting narrower in scope. In 1993, President Bill Clinton and a Democratic Congress raised income taxes on households making more than ... Read More
Elections

Biden’s Middle-Class Tax Pledge

Biden is pledging not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year. As I note in my Bloomberg Opinion column, Democratic proposals to increase income taxes keep getting narrower in scope. In 1993, President Bill Clinton and a Democratic Congress raised income taxes on households making more than ... Read More
World

The 82-Day Dictatorship

One wonders if it will be recorded in the history books that from March 30th to June 20th Hungary lived as the shortest dictatorship in European history, before voluntarily extinguishing itself. An odd act for a dictatorship. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of Hungary had used the coronavirus to make himself ... Read More
World

The 82-Day Dictatorship

One wonders if it will be recorded in the history books that from March 30th to June 20th Hungary lived as the shortest dictatorship in European history, before voluntarily extinguishing itself. An odd act for a dictatorship. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of Hungary had used the coronavirus to make himself ... Read More
Sports

Gregg Jefferies, Still Unfulfilled

Joel Sherman of the New York Post had an interesting feature Saturday on Gregg Jefferies, one of the great woulda-coulda-shoulda stories for Mets fans. The main theme of the story is that a number of Mets veterans now regret the extent of the hazing the team’s hard-living veterans imposed on the high-strung, ... Read More
Sports

Gregg Jefferies, Still Unfulfilled

Joel Sherman of the New York Post had an interesting feature Saturday on Gregg Jefferies, one of the great woulda-coulda-shoulda stories for Mets fans. The main theme of the story is that a number of Mets veterans now regret the extent of the hazing the team’s hard-living veterans imposed on the high-strung, ... Read More