Acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor reportedly said Tuesday he was told release of military aid depended on public declarations from Kyiv that it would investigate the Bidens and the 2016 election, according to his opening statement to lawmakers.
The Washington Post wrote that Taylor’s statement contradicted President Donald Trump’s denial that he used the money as leverage for political gain. The Post was among the media outlets to obtain Taylor’s testimony given behind closed doors in the House’s impeachment probe of Trump.
Earlier Tuesday, Democrats called Taylor’s testimony “disturbing.”
“The testimony is very disturbing,” said New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney. Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota used the same word. Asked why, he said, “Because it’s becoming more distinct.”
Taylor’s appearance is among the most watched because of a text message, released by House investigators earlier in the probe, in which he called Trump’s attempt to leverage military aid to Ukraine in return for a political investigation “crazy.”
Taylor’s description of Trump’s position is in sharp contrast to how the president has characterized it. Trump has said many times that there was no quid pro quo, though his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney contradicted that last week. Mulvaney later tried to walk back his remarks.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.