Former Trump ambassador regrets not pushing back against Giuliani on Ukraine: 'I was a doofus'
Gordon Sondland and Jared Kushner are welcomed by European commission President Jean-Claude Juncker ahead of their 2019 meeting. (Alexandros Michailidis /

Gordon Sondland was briefly a household name after he confirmed during testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in 2019 that former President Donald Trump had insisted on a quid pro quo deal with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy: Zelenskyy wanted a meeting with Trump and Trump wanted Zelenskyy to announce an investigation of an energy company associated with Joe Biden’s son Hunter.

Since being fired by Trump, the hotelier has returned to the business that made him wealthy and largely stayed out of the public spotlight.

But now the former European Union ambassador, like many former Trump advisers, has penned a book about his time in the administration. He recently sat for interviews with The Washington Post and had this harsh self-assessment of his performance: "I was a doofus."

Sondland disclosed that he regrets not pushing back against Rudy Giuliani as he attempted to pressure the Ukraine president to help dig up dirt on Hunter Biden's business dealings in the country as part of the effort to win the 2020 presidential against Biden.

IN OTHER NEWS: Evidence that Supreme Court leak came from the right laid out by New York magazine columnist

The 64-year-old told the Washington Post that he "was swept along on that continuum while focused solely on one goal: getting Trump and Zelensky together to spark a friendship and strengthen the alliance." He added, “My own mistake was probably buying into the whole Giuliani narrative and allowing a non-governmental actor to interfere in a very ambiguous way with U.S. foreign policy.”

Sondland is suing the U.S. government for not paying his nearly $1.8 million in legal fees related to the impeachment. His memoir, due out in October, is going through a security review. It reportedly doesn't contain any bombshell revelations. The working title is “The Envoy: Mastering the Art of Diplomacy with Trump and the World.”

“I think he’s sort of the poster child of why donor-ambassadors aren’t a great idea,” Max Bergmann, who worked in the State Department under Barack Obama and is now director of the Europe program for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the Washington Post. "It’s not like he’s a bad guy. He seemed like someone who was energetic, which can be rare in this sphere, and wanted to be involved in U.S. foreign policy. But he has no experience, no knowledge of how these things work," and "then gets involved in what was a shakedown of a foreign country."

“Yes, I’m the quid pro quo guy,” Sondland writes in the memoir, “but you know what? Everything in life is some kind of a quid pro quo.”