President Trump’s campaign called the testimony from William Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, and George Kent, a top State Department official, “third-hand opinions,” dismissing its value in the ongoing impeachment inquiry into Trump.
“The entire world can read the transcript of President Trump’s conversation with [Ukrainian] President Zelensky, so people don’t need to rely on third-party opinions when they can see the facts for themselves,” campaign spokesman Brad Parscale said in a statement released shortly after the public hearing concluded Wednesday afternoon.
The White House’s partial memo of the July 25 call between the leaders is not a transcript, as Trump has called it.
“Despite that, today we heard from Democrats’ hand-picked star witnesses, who together were not on the Ukraine phone call, did not speak directly to President Trump, got third-hand hearsay from one side of a different phone call in a restaurant, and formed opinions based on stories in the pages of the New York Times,” Parscale said.
“We hate to break it to these unelected, career government bureaucrats who think they know best: the President of the United States sets foreign policy, not them. And disagreement on policy is not an impeachable offense,” Parscale continued.
Taylor testified that one of his staffers overheard a phone call between Trump and Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland on July 26, during which Trump asked the EU ambassador about the investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, which is at the center of the impeachment inquiry.