A top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine told a group of other American diplomats in September that he thought it was “crazy” for the U.S. to be withholding military aid to Ukraine for political purposes, according to texts disclosed to Congress and obtained by ABC News. In the encrypted texts, Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat to Ukraine, wrote that he thought it was “crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign.” In response, U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland said he was “incorrect“ and said President Trump had been “crystal clear no quid pro quo of any kind.” Sondland then wrote to the group, “I suggest we stop the back and forth by text.” It’s unclear if that conversation continued.
The texts were provided to Congress by former U.S Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, who The Daily Beast reported was forced out of his post at the State Department as a way to mitigate the growing scandal around Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the agency's involvement in the Ukraine saga. A whistleblower complaint raised concerns about Trump’s July 25 phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, during which the president pressured the country to conduct a corruption investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. Trump admitted to withholding military aid to Ukraine prior to the call.