According to a new report from the Associated Press Thursday morning, a second “U.S. embassy staffer in Kyiv” is now known to have overheard President Trump’s phone call with ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, where he discussed the need for Ukraine to move forward with “investigations.”
In the call, Sondland told Trump that the Ukrainians were ready to move forward on the investigations — that’s according to testimony this Wednesday from the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, William B. Taylor Jr.
According to experts, the call was a clear breach of security.
“The security ramifications are insane — using an open cellphone to communicate with the president of the United States,” Larry Pfeiffer, a former senior director of the White House Situation Room and a former chief of staff to the CIA director, told The Washington Post. “In a country that is so wired with Russian intelligence, you can almost take it to the bank that the Russians were listening in on the call.”
In a tweet this Thursday, former Department of Defense special counsel and Harvard law professor Ryan Goodman said the implications don’t look good for Sondland.
"A second US embassy staffer in Kyiv overheard a key cellphone call" between Trump and Sondland "discussing the need for Ukrainian officials to pursue 'investigations.'"
Both staff named.
Difficult for Sondland to get out of this.https://t.co/RVbZ27SQZu
— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) November 14, 2019
“Difficult for Sondland to get out of this,” Goodman wrote.
Other weighed in as well:
2 State officials now saying they heard Sondland/Trump call about investigations on July 26. https://t.co/j0vrxIzgb1
Sondland testified he recalled a "brief discussion" with Trump before this visit, but said it was nonsubstantive and not about investigations pic.twitter.com/FG1LVsEtxY
— Andrew Prokop (@awprokop) November 14, 2019
FYI to Gordon Sondland, yes Bill Barr is currently AG, but the statute of limitations on false statements is five years. https://t.co/GCIl3IFI6c
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) November 14, 2019
Trump spoke with Giuliani on unsecured phones that were vulnerable to Russian surveillance: report
On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that President Donald Trump has communicated with his lawyer Rudy Giuliani via unsecured and unencrypted phone lines that are potentially vulnerable to interception and monitoring by Russian intelligence officials and other hostile foreign powers.
"Trump is not identified by name in the House phone records, but investigators said they suspect he may be a person with a blocked number listed as '-1' in the files," stated the report. "And administration officials said separately that Trump has communicated regularly with Giuliani on unsecured lines."
Internet debates ‘the dumbest thing Brian Kilmeade has ever said’
Fox News personality Brian Kilmeade has received a great deal of attention -- and criticism -- during the Trump era.
Kilmeade co-hosts one of the President's favorite shows, "Fox and Friends," with Steve Doocy and Ainsley Earhardt on weekday mornings. He also a show on the Fox News Radio network and frequently appears on "The Five."
The former Ultimate Fighting Championship play-by-play sportscaster has also been harshly criticized for the type of comments that make the show a favorite for the president.
Journalist Molly Jong-Fast, who was widely praised her interview of Lisa Page, decided to explore Kilmeade's comments.
Trump was ‘in denial’ he would be impeached — until he watched TV yesterday: CNN reporter
On Thursday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," White House correspondent Boris Sanchez said that President Donald Trump believed for weeks that Democrats were not really going to go through with impeachment — but after watching the House Judiciary Committee testimony on Wednesday, he finally realized they were serious.
"Is it clear how the president is handling this behind closed doors?" asked Cooper.
"Well, for weeks we've been hearing that the president has sort of been in denial about all of this, that he did not actually believe that Democrats in the house would vote to impeach him," said Sanchez. "We're actually told that he's come to terms with that reality in part because he was watching testimony yesterday as he was returning from a NATO leaders meeting in London."