Ex-White House Aide: EU Ambassador's Incompetence Was A National Security Risk
A former top White House adviser told congressional investigators this week that the incompetence of European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland was so significant, he constituted a national security risk.
The New York Times reported that Fiona Hill, formerly the senior director for European and Russian affairs at the White House, said she did not believe Sondland had intentionally put the United States at risk but described him “as metaphorically driving in an unfamiliar place with no guardrails and no GPS.”
Prior to taking on the role of EU ambassador, Sondland was a hotelier and major Trump donor, The Times noted.
Those familiar with Hill’s testimony said the former policy adviser claimed she raised concerns over Sondland with White House intelligence officials.
Hill said Sondland “extensively used a personal cellphone for official diplomatic business and repeatedly told foreign officials they were welcome to come to the White House whenever they liked.” She also said she feared his inexperience would be exploited by foreign governments.
One on occasion, Hill said, Romanian officials showed up at the White House without appointments, saying Sondland had issued the invite.
Generating additional counterintelligence risks, Sondland also billed himself as someone who could make White House meetings happen and handed out the cellphone numbers of U.S. officials to foreign individuals, Hill claimed.
The Times said Sondland’s lawyer declined to comment for the story.