During a back-and-forth with GOP counsel Stephen Castor, US Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, was asked his thoughts on previous closed-door testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton, who characterized Sondland's dealings with Ukraine by using the metaphor of a "drug deal."
The metaphor caught on with other GOP questioners, such as GOP House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Devin Nunes, causing some to wonder if he even knows that Bolton was being metaphorical. Nunes' comments prompted some pushback from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who told him that "no one thinks they're talking about a literal drug deal here. Or a drug cocktail. The import, I think, of [Bolton's] comments is quite clear, that he believed that this bargain, this quid pro quo ... was not something he wanted to be a part of."
Others on Twitter were incredulous over the idea that Republicans were interpreting Bolton's words literally.
I see that the GOP’s best line of defense here is repeatedly asking versions of “have you ever been part of a drug deal?”— Alex Shephard (@Alex Shephard)1574270035.0
I find it funny that republicans keep trying to establish that trump and co. weren’t *literally* doing a massive il… https://t.co/YjIVcfY0CN— Asawin Suebsaeng (@Asawin Suebsaeng)1574269841.0
Do these Republicans understand the “drug deal” was a figure of speech or are they purposely trying to confuse the… https://t.co/FWsrhCnIKt— DEADLEE (@DEADLEE)1574268951.0
Am I correct that Castor and Sondland both just pretended that Hill and Bolton accused Sondland of participating in a literal drug deal?— Dan Friedman (@Dan Friedman)1574268798.0
Guys, Bolton didn't mean it was an actual drug deal. It's an expression. Like dumpster fire or train wreck.— John Moe (@John Moe)1574268808.0
Does Castor think that Bolton's "drug deal" comment was about an Actual drug deal?— Arieh Kovler (@Arieh Kovler)1574268766.0
Bolton didn’t mean a literal drug deal, you morons. #ImpeachmentHearings— JackiSchechner (@JackiSchechner)1574268724.0
Are we...are we pretending "drug deal" was a literal drug deal?— Olivier Knox (@Olivier Knox)1574268717.0
You gotta be a moron to not know what Bolton meant by “drug deal.” Nunes again engaging in futile questioning just to confuse.— Sara Azari, Esq. (@Sara Azari, Esq.)1574267421.0
Nunes is actually asking Sondland if he is aware of "any drug deal." The GOP is completely out of ideas and I alm… https://t.co/MmMoqKlFGR— Eric Klinenberg (@Eric Klinenberg)1574267370.0