Holmes: Sondland said of Giuliani, ‘Dammit Rudy. Every time Rudy gets involved, he goes and f---s everything up’
David Holmes, a career foreign service officer who overheard a phone call between President Donald Trump and E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland in July, said that Sondland slammed Rudy Giuliani’s efforts to influence U.S. foreign policy toward Ukraine during a meeting in May.
Holmes said in his opening statement before the House Intelligence Committee that Sondland’s comment came during a preliminary meeting of the U.S. delegation to Zelesnkiy’s inauguration in Ukraine.
“At one point during a preliminary meeting of the inauguration delegation, someone wondered aloud about why Mr. Giuliani was so active in the media with respect to Ukraine," Holmes said. "My recollection is that Ambassador Sondland stated, “Dammit Rudy. Every time Rudy gets involved, he goes and f---s everything up.
Sondland testified before the committee about his role in Ukraine on Wednesday.
Holmes, counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, said in his opening statement that the situation at the embassy “changed dramatically” in March 2019.
“Specifically, the three priorities of security, economy, and justice, and our support for Ukrainian democratic resistance to Russian aggression, became overshadowed by a political agenda being promoted by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and a cadre of officials operating with a direct channel to the White House,” Holmes said.
Embracing allegations by a former Ukrainian prosecutor, Holmes said that Giuliani smeared Marie Yovanovitch, who had served as U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and who testified before the House Intelligence Committee last Friday.
“Mr. Giuliani was also making frequent public statements pushing for Ukraine to investigate interference in the 2016 election and issues related to Burisma and the Bidens. For example, on May 1, 2019, The New York Times reported that Mr. Giuliani had 'discussed the Burisma investigation, and its intersections with the Bidens,'” Holmes said.
Holmes added, “The barrage of allegations directed at Ambassador Yovanovitch, a career ambassador, is unlike anything I have seen in my professional career.”