Trump impeachment inquiry: US President says does not know Sondland 'very well'

AFP Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America Nov 20, 2019, 10.46 PM(IST)

US President Donald Trump (File photo) Photograph:( Reuters )

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"I don't know him very well. I have not spoken to him much," Trump told reporters at the White House.

Donald Trump sought Wednesday to distance himself from US envoy Gordon Sondland, after he told an impeachment hearing he had followed the president's orders in seeking a "quid pro quo" deal with Ukraine.

"I don't know him very well. I have not spoken to him much," Trump told reporters at the White House, before reading from notes which he said showed that he wanted "nothing" from Kiev.

In an October 8 tweet, Trump had described his ambassador to the European Union as "a really good man and great American."

Meanwhile, US diplomat Gordon Sondland said that President Donald Trump never spoke to him about stalled military aid to Ukraine or any alleged link to Trump's demands for political investigations.

"I never heard from President Trump that aid was conditioned on an announcement of (the investigations)," Sondland told a congressional impeachment inquiry.

"I don't recall President Trump ever talking to me about any security assistance, ever," he added.