CNN's Tapper and King Agree Sondland Testimony Nailed Team Trump: 'Damning Evidence' Will 'Guarantee' Impeachment

Jake Tapper and John King of CNN both agreed that today's testimony by Ambassador Gordon Sondland during the impeachment hearings was strong enough to ensure the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

Sondland confirmed a quid pro quo deal between Trump and Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelenskiy, telling the House Intelligence Committee that "everyone was in the loop" about the deal, which promised aid for Ukraine if they investigated Trump's political rival, Joe Biden.

"A monumental and historic moment on what may turn out to be the worst day with the most damning evidence for President Trump in the impeachment inquiry," Tapper, host of The Lead, said of Sondland's testimony.

"Sondland directly implicated the president in directing the operation to pressure Ukraine," Tapper explained. "Sondland is testifying that there very clearly was a quid pro quo—this was for a White House visit for the Ukrainians in exchange for an announcement about an investigation into the company Burisma and the Bidens. Now, Sondland later said it became clear to him that the quid pro quo also, he presumed, was tied to the holdup of hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid that Ukraine desperately needed."

gordon sondland, bob luskin
Ambassador Gordon Sondland listens to attorney Bob Luskin during his testimony at the impeachment hearings for President Donald Trump. Drew Angerer/Getty

Host of CNN's Inside Politics John King said that Trump's impeachment was inevitable after Sondland's testimony.

"What Sondland did today was guarantee the House of Representatives is going to impeach the president of the United States," King said. "If you had any doubt, if you had any doubt that the Democrats were going to blink at the last minute, that the Democrats were going to say 'because of this witness we're not so sure, let's leave it to the voters.'"

"Forget about that," he continued. "They now have Gordon Sondland, the central figure who says everyone was in the loop and everyone knew this is what we were doing and it came from the president and he told us to work through Rudy [Giuliani]. That's all the Democrats need to go forward."

Politicians specifically named by Sondland as knowing about the deal were Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, White House Energy Aide Brian McCormick and presidential assistant Robert Blair.

Sondland said he was following the directions of President Trump, who often made his wishes known through his lawyer, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

"When the president says 'talk to my personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani,' you do so," Sondland testified.

Trump 2020 National Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany issued a statement on today's impeachment hearings.

"Over and over we've heard from Democrats and the media that the next hearing, the next witness, the next testimony would be the bombshell they've been promising, only to have it fizzle out like all the rest," the statement read. "It has happened yet again. Ambassador Sondland said repeatedly that President Trump directly told him he wanted nothing from Ukraine. Sondland also testified that no one – no one – ever told him that Ukraine aid was tied to investigations. In a normal world this would be the end of the story, but in Washington, D.C. the Democrats' sham impeachment rolls on – to the detriment of the American people."

Updated 11/20/2019 5:38 P.M. EST: story updated to include a statement from the Trump campaign.