Chris Wallace: Sondland testimony 'took out the bus and ran over' Trump, top aides

Fox News anchor Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceTrump teases order requiring insurers to cover preexisting conditions When will telling the truth in politics matter again? Trump downplays COVID-19's mortality rate in US MORE said that Gordon SondlandGordon SondlandGOP chairman vows to protect whistleblowers following Vindman retirement over 'bullying' Top Democrat slams Trump's new EU envoy: Not 'a political donor's part-time job' Trump names new EU envoy, filling post left vacant by impeachment witness Sondland MORE, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, "took out the bus and ran over" President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE and some of his top aides while testifying in the House impeachment inquiry on Wednesday. 

"I think what Sondland was trying to do here is protect himself more than he is to protect anybody else," Wallace said on Fox News during the network's coverage of the public impeachment hearing.

"To a certain degree, he took out the bus and ran over President Trump, Vice President Pence, [Secretary of State] Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoBeirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally Advocacy groups come out against Trump pick for ambassador to Germany US pledges million in disaster aid to Lebanon MORE, [former national security adviser] John BoltonJohn BoltonEx-Trump adviser, impeachment witness Fiona Hill gets book deal Hannity's first book in 10 years debuts at No. 1 on Amazon Congress has a shot at correcting Trump's central mistake on cybersecurity MORE, [Trump's personal attorney] Rudy GiulianiRudy GiulianiCoronavirus concerns emerge around debates Giuliani says Black Lives Matter is 'domestic terrorist' group Commission on Presidential Debates rejects Trump campaign call for earlier debate MORE, [acting White House chief of staff] Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyFauci says positive White House task force reports don't always match what he hears on the ground Bottom line White House, Senate GOP clash over testing funds MORE," he added. "He implicates all of them."


Sondland has emerged as a central figure in House Democrats' impeachment inquiry into allegations about Trump's efforts to get Ukraine to open political investigations and whether the president conditioned military aid on the announcement of those probes. 

In his opening statement before the House Intelligence Committee, Sondland testified that Trump conditioned a White House meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on the leader announcing investigations into 2020 presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says Trump executive order is 'a reckless war on Social Security' Trump got into testy exchange with top GOP donor Adelson: report Blumenthal calls for declassification of materials detailing Russian threat to US elections MORE and the 2016 presidential election. 

Sondland, a wealthy hotelier and GOP megadonor, said that this connection was well known within the administration. 

“I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a ‘quid pro quo?’ As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes,” Sondland said. 

Sondland mentioned figures such as Giuliani, Pence and Pompeo during his opening statement. He said that "everyone was in the loop" about the link between Ukraine opening investigations and a White House meeting. He noted that he and other officials reluctantly worked with Giuliani, Trump's lawyer, on matters related to Ukraine. 


"Simply put, we played the hand we were dealt. We all understood that if we refused to work with Mr. Giuliani, we would lose an important opportunity to cement relations between the United States and Ukraine," he said. "So we followed the president's orders."

Sondland also claimed that he raised concerns about Ukraine aid to Pence, an allegation that the vice president's office has denied

Speaking on Fox News, Wallace noted that Sondland never said that Trump directly told him that military aid was conditioned on opening investigations. But he said that the ambassador's testimony "certainly makes it clear that in the direct conversations he has with the president he saw a conditionality here.”

Trump dismissed the potential implications of the new testimony, saying that he does not know Sondland "very well."

"Here is my response that he just gave. Ready? You have the cameras rolling? I want nothing. That’s what I want from Ukraine," Trump told reporters outside the White House. "I want nothing — I said it twice."