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EU ambassador Gordon Sondland faces pressure from his wife to turn on Trump

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Gordon Sondland held his nose and backed Donald Trump’s first presidential campaign in hopes of landing an ambassadorship, but now he’s got a compelling reason to turn on the president.

The longtime Republican donor got what he wanted after donating $1 million to Trump’s 2016 campaign, and was named the U.S. ambassador to the European Union — but he may be forced to testify against the president to save his marriage and his business, reported the Washington Post.

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The 62-year-old Sondland landed knee-deep in the president’s efforts to pressure Ukraine into helping his 2020 re-election campaign, and he has been subpoenaed by the House to testify about his work this summer with U.S. diplomats in Kyiv and Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Current and former U.S. officials say Sondland, who once said Trump offended his — “personal beliefs and values on so many levels” — hoped that he might take over for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross if he helped Trump get damaging information against Joe Biden from Ukraine.

“He spent a year trying to prove that he wasn’t anti-Trump,” said a former White House official. “He got into the position [of ambassador], and he had an opportunity to prove it. Trump knew that he wanted to prove his loyalty.”

But now he faces another loyalty test — from his wife of 26 years.

Sondland’s wife Katherine Durant, a real estate investor and registered Democrat, fears her husband’s ties to Trump and the Ukraine scandal will hurt the hotel company he built.

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One local company in Portland, Oregon, where the couple lives, has already cut ties with Provenance Hotels over Sondland’s role in the foreign scandal, and Democratic Rep. Earl Blumenauer has called for a boycott until the ambassador cooperates fully in the impeachment inquiry.

Durant has criticized media coverage of her husband, saying he deserves a chance to clear his name.

“We live in a world right now where there’s no upside to supporting someone like Gordon who is working for Trump,” Durant said. “It’s a mob.”

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“He’s been extremely hard-working,” she added. “He came from immigrant parents, he’s first generation here, he made his own wealth, he’s worked his entire life hard, he’s extremely generous. I mean, he’ll sit down and listen to anyone, take his time, go to bat for them, give his money. But this environment is so sad and vicious that there is no one who will stick up for him. I find it really pathetic.”

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Louisiana Democrat re-elected governor — despite Trump’s rallies for the Republican candidate

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The Associated Press has called the Lousiana's governor's race for incumbent Democrat John Bel Edwards.

Edwards triumphed over Republican businessman Eddie Rispone, who called to concede.

The outcome is another major political loss for President Donald Trump, who had held multiple campaign rallies for Rispone.

During his most recent rally, Trump begged the crowd to give him a "big win" in the election.

Eddie Rispone has conceded the #lagov race to Gov. John Bel Edwards, giving the Democrat four more years in ruby red Louisiana despite Trump’s best efforts to flip the seat. Edwards camp says Rispone called minutes ago to concede. #lagov #lalege

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Press secretary says it is ‘dangerous for the country’ to question whether she is putting out honest info

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Press secretary Stephanie Grisham on Saturday argued it was "dangerous for the country" for anyone to challenge the veracity of her claims.

Grisham made her argument after President Donald Trump went to Walter Reed Hospital for an unannounced doctor's visit, resulting in a great deal of speculation.

Following the visit, Grisham claimed Trump was "healthy" and "without complaints" -- a claim many found unlikely as the president has spent a good deal of time as president airing his many grievances.

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Sondland used WhatsApp to communicate with Ukraine — and won’t turn over the messages: report

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Ambassador Gordon Sondland used WhatsApp to send encrypted messages to a top Ukranian official, The Washington Post reported Saturday.

The communication occurred with Andriy Yermak, a top aide to President Volodymr Zelensky, when Sondland was in Kyiv, the newspaper reported.

"Sondland was also texting back and forth on WhatsApp with Yermak throughout the trip, and had been communicating with other Ukrainian officials over the messaging app in the preceding and subsequent months, according to people familiar with his interactions," The Post reported.

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