'We followed the president's orders': Sondland leaves no wiggle room for Trump's direct involvement in Ukraine scandal
President Donald Trump responds to a question about Jussie Smollett (Screen cap).

European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland will leave no wiggle room for President Donald Trump to deny his direct involvement in the Ukraine scandal in his bombshell opening statement.


As reported by the Daily Beast, Sondland will testify that he followed President Donald Trump's orders to work with personal attorney Rudy Giuliani on dealing with Ukraine, despite the fact that he was personally reluctant to do so.

"Secretary Perry, Ambassador Volker and I worked with Mr. Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the President of the United States," the statement says. "We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani. Simply put, we played the hand we were dealt. We all understood that if we refused to work with Mr. Giuliani, we would lose an important opportunity to cement relations between the United States and Ukraine. So we followed the President’s orders."

Sondland emphasizes his reluctance to work with Giuliani later in his testimony.

"Let me say again: We weren’t happy with the President’s directive to talk with Rudy,” he said. “We did not want to involve Mr. Giuliani.”