Sondland briefed Pompeo on Trump's Ukraine scheme -- and secretary of state signed off on it: report

President Donald Trump's ambassador to the European Union kept Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the loop on efforts to pressure Ukraine's president to announce an investigation of Joe Biden.


Gordon Sondland notified Pompeo in mid-August of a draft statement he'd produced with another U.S. diplomat and Ukrainian officials that they hoped would persuade Trump to invite Volodymyr Zelensky to the Oval Office, reported the New York Times.

He and Pompeo discussed later that month the possibility of pushing Zelensky to pledge during a planned meeting with Trump in Warsaw that he would pursue the investigation sought by the U.S. president in hopes of smoothing relations between the two countries, according to two sources who were briefed on the matter.

Pompeo expressed his approval of the plan laid out by Sondland, but Trump later canceled his trip to Poland and sent Vice President Mike Pence instead.