Pence Disputes Sondland's Testimony, Says He Does Not Remember 'Any Discussion' With Ambassador Before His Call With Zelenskiy

Vice President Mike Pence has firmly disputed U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland's testimony in Wednesday's impeachment hearings, asserting that he has "no recollection" of having "any discussion" with the ambassador before a meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

During his testimony, Sondland asserted that he had spoken with Pence on September 1 ahead of a meeting the vice president had planned with Zelenskiy in Poland and raised his concerns that the Trump administration's delay in U.S. aid to Ukraine might be tied to President Donald Trump's request for Ukraine to investigate former vice president and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

"I mentioned to Vice President Pence before the meetings with the Ukrainians that I had concerns that the delay in aid had become tied to the issue of investigations," Sondland said. "I recall mentioning that before the Zelenskiy meeting."

Speaking with WISN 12 News on Wednesday during a visit to Wisconsin, Pence refuted Sondland's claim, however, asserting that such a conversation "never" took place.

Asked whether the vice president believes Sondland lied under oath, Pence told WISN 12 that he "never had a conversation with Gordon Sondland about investigating the Bidens" or "the conditional release of financial aid to Ukraine based upon potential investigations" before his meeting with Zelenskiy.

Pence also asserted that he had not spoken to Sondland before speaking with Zelenskiy following Trump's July phone call with the Ukrainian president, in which he asked that Ukraine look into the Bidens.

"I had no recollection of any discussion with Ambassador Sondland before that meeting," Pence said.

Further, Pence noted: "There have been two people who have now testified under oath at no point before, during or after my meeting with President Zelenskiy did those topics come up."

The vice president also said he had "no recollection" of ever seeing a transcript of Trump's call with Zelenskiy, despite his own aide testifying on Tuesday that she put such a transcript in a briefing book for Pence before his own conversation with the Ukrainian leader.

"I have heard that it was in a briefing book," Pence said. However, he asserted: "I have no recollection of seeing a transcript of the call. I was not aware of the allegations that U.S. aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations at any point before those matters become public in September."

Pence's statements come as the vice president has, for the most part, sought to steer clear of the impeachment inquiry.

While Trump has actively engaged with the inquiry, regularly weighing in on hearings over Twitter, Pence has largely avoided involvement until now.

Mike Pence
Vice President Mike Pence delivers remarks at a Veterans Day event at Arlington National Cemetery on November 11, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia. Drew Angerer/Getty