AP Deletes False Tweet Claiming Trump Contradicted Sondland–It Was an Exact Quote

US President Donald Trump reads from his notes as he talks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House before boarding Marine One in Washington, DC, November 20, 2019, en route to Austin, Texas. (Photo by Joshua Lott / AFP) (Photo by JOSHUA LOTT/AFP via Getty Images)
JOSHUA LOTT/AFP via Getty Images

The Associated Press on Wednesday deleted a grossly inaccurate tweet that claimed President Trump contradicted Ambassador Gordon Sondland, after readers and viewers on social media pointed out that it was actually a direct quote from the ambassador’s testimony.

In a tweet on Wednesday, the AP asserted that Trump was “contradicting his own ambassador” by saying that he wanted “nothing” from Ukraine.

“Contradicting the testimony of his own ambassador, President Trump says he wanted ‘nothing’ from Ukriane [sic] and says the #ImpeachmentHearings should be brought to an end,” the AP’s now-deleted tweet read.

However, that claim is patently false, as Sondland testified that Trump told him, “I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo.”

Sondland said:

I finally called the president… I believe I just asked him an open-ended question, Mr. Chairman. What do you want from Ukraine? I keep hearing all these different ideas and theories and this and that. What do you want?

It was a very short abrupt conversation, he was not in a good mood, and he just said, ‘I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelensky to do the right thing,’ something to that effect.

President Trump repeated Sondland’s claim to reporters on Wednesday.

“Here’s my response that he gave—just gave. Ready? You have the cameras rolling? ‘I want nothing.’ ‘That’s what I want from Ukraine.’ That’s what I said. ‘I want nothing.’ I said it twice,” Trump said.

“Now, if you weren’t fake news, you’d cover it properly,” he added:

The AP deleted the tweet and issued the following correction: “An earlier tweet that didn’t make clear that President Trump was quoting from Gordon Sondland’s testimony in which he was quoting Trump has been deleted”:

Trump also reiterated Sondland’s recollection in a pair of tweets:

“No quid pro quo … that’s all I got from President Trump,” Sondland said during the testimony, a point the GOP has capitalized on:

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) also stressed the point during the hearing, reading the quote and pointing out that Ukraine received the call, meeting, and aid despite Sondland’s presumption that those were contingent upon an announcement of investigations.

“I mean, you got all three of them wrong. They get the call, they get the meeting, they get the money. It’s not 2+2. It’s 0-3. I mean I’ve never seen anything like this,” Jordan exclaimed:

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