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Diplomat Bill Taylor’s long opening statement on Ukraine provoked ‘sighs and gasps’: report

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Veteran diplomat Bill Taylor, who told European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland that he thought it was “crazy” to withhold military aid to Ukraine to help a political campaign, testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday over the objections of the Trump State Department.

Even though details of the testimony have not yet been made public, one source tells Politico’s Andrew Desiderio that Taylor’s opening statement was a hefty 15 pages long and sparked “a lot of sighs and gasps.”

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While no lawmakers present at the hearing have discussed the contents of Taylor’s opening statement, reactions from at least two Democratic lawmakers line up with what Desiderio’s source claims was the reaction in the room.

Per Politico’s Kyle Cheney, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) described Taylor’s testimony so far as “incredibly damaging to the president.” Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI), meanwhile, reportedly described Taylor’s testimony as “my most disturbing day in Congress so far.”

Taylor is a central figure in the scandal involving President Donald Trump pressuring the Ukrainian government to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden. The veteran diplomat strenuously objected after learning that the Trump White House was holding up military aid to the country and he flatly asserted that this was being done to help the president politically.

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2020 Election

So long, Steve King: 9-term white supremacist GOP congressman from Iowa loses primary

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Here are 7 ways Donald Trump is just like Henry Ford — and why that’s not good for American democracy

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