Ambassador confirms quid pro quo during high-stakes testimony

Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the EU, testified before Congress that the $400 million in military aid to Ukraine was believed to be a condition even though Trump never told him that directly.
4:07 | 11/21/19

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Transcript for Ambassador confirms quid pro quo during high-stakes testimony
It is a very big day again on capitol hill. Another day of testimony about to get under way. Yeah, the president's former Russia adviser Fiona hill will take on the false narrative. It comes after the man you see right there, ambassador Gordon sondland with the most direct challenge yet to president trump. He laid out how the president ordered the pressure campaign against Ukraine, a campaign that, quote, everyone including the secretary of state and the vice president knew about. Mary Bruce starts us off from the hearing room on capitol hill. Good morning, Mary. Reporter: Good morning, George. Well, sondland's testimony here was an historic bombshell and now investigators are preparing to question two more officials who have said they were shocked by what they witnessed and arm laed by the trump administration's foreign policy. Former white house official Fiona hill will warn of a fictional narrative that is being perpetuated about Ukraine. It caps three days of intense hearings here on the hill that are sending reverb rations through Washington. Please rise. Reporter: Before congress and the nation, president trump's point person in Ukraine defied the president. Gordon sondland declaring there was a quid pro quo. Was there a quid pro quo with regard to the requested white house call and the white house meeting, the answer is, yes. Reporter: Sondland said they were acting on orders from the president's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, at the direction of the president. Secretary Perry, ambassador Volker and I worked with . Rudy Giuliani on Ukraine matters at the express direction of the president of the united States. We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani. We followed the president's Reporter: He said the Ukrainian president would only get a coveted meeting at the white house if he agreed to announce an investigation into the president's political sondland said he came to believe that nearly $400 million in military aid was also conditioned on that announcement. So is this kind of a two plus two equals four conclusion that you reached? Pretty much. Is the only logical conclusion to you that given all of these factors, that the aid was also a part of this quid pro quo? Yep. Reporter: But sondland said trump never told him that directly and Republicans pounced. So you really have no testimony today that ties president trump to a scheme to withhold aid from Ukraine in exchange for these investigations? Other than my own presumption. Which is nothing. Reporter: The president has claimed he was trying to root out corruption in Ukraine but sondland said the president cared more about Ukraine announcing the investigations. He had to announce the investigations. He didn't actually have to do them as I understood it. Reporter: Sondland said he wasn't acting alone. The suggestion that we were engaged in some irregular or rogue diplomacy is absolutely everyone was in the loop. It was no secret. Reporter: He named names saying everyone from secretary of state Mike Pompeo to vice president Mike pence knew about the campaign to pressure Ukraine. I'm not sure how someone could characterize something as an irregular channel when you're talking to the president of the United States, the secretary of state, the national security adviser, the chief of staff of the white house, the secretary of energy. Reporter: After nearly seven hours, Republicans dismissed sondland's account. They have yet to point to a shred of evidence when it comes to impeachable offenses. Reporter: But Democrats called sondland's testimony the most significant evidence yet. It goes right to the heart of the issue of bribery as well as other potential high crimes or misdemeanors. Reporter: At a later hearing last night another witness undercut a major Republican argument that that military aid couldn't have been used as leverage because the Ukrainians didn't know that it was being withheld. Well, Laura cooper says the Ukrainian official started asking about the status of that aid on the same day that the president urged the Ukrainian leader to, quote, do us a favor and announce these investigations. Cecilia. Okay, Mary Bruce, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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