William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, a top State Department official, denied during Wednesday’s first public impeachment hearing that they are “Never Trumpers.”
“Just about an hour before the two of you sat down to testify today the president tweeted multiple times about this hearing, and he put in all caps ‘NEVER TRUMPERS.’ Mr. Kent are you a ‘Never Trumper?’ ” Swalwell asked.
“I am a career nonprofessional who serves whatever president is duly elected and carries out the foreign policies of the United States,” Kent responded.
He added that he’s done so for 27 years, serving three Republican and two Democratic presidents.
Swalwell posed the same question to Taylor.
“No sir,” Taylor responded.
Swalwell also asked Taylor if he agrees with acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney’s assertion during a press conference last month that aid routinely comes with conditions and Trump’s critics should “get over it.”
“If we’re talking about political influence meaning attempts to get information that is solely useful for political campaigns, we should not get used to that,” Taylor responded.
Mulvaney had said the Trump administration set such conditions “all the time.”
“Prior to this administration is this something we would do all the time?” Swalwell asked.
“No sir,” Taylor said.