Tim Morrison, President Trump’s former top Russia expert, defended his former boss in Congress just hours after quitting his job.
In a surprise move, Morrison went in front of the Democrat-led impeachment panel and declared:
“I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed.”
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said the testimony from Morrison was “very damaging to the Democrats’ narrative.” He added, “I don’t think you’ll get any opening statements leaked from the Democrats today.”
Tim Morrison also confirmed that President Trump’s phone call transcript was correct despite accusations from Lt. Col. Vindman that President Trump left things out. Morrison testified:
“To the best of my recollection, the MemCon [memorandum of conversation] accurately and completely reflects the substance of the call.”
Morrison also disputed the conclusions of anti-Trump Ukraine Ambassador Bill Taylor despite saying Taylor’s recollection of the content was accurate. Taylor testified earlier this month that European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland told top Zelensky aide Andriy Yermak that aid could be withheld unless they investigate Bursima Holdings, the Ukrainian gas firm that Hunter Biden works on the board of.
“My recollection is that Ambassador Sondland’s proposal to Mr. Yermak was that it could be sufficient if the new Ukrainian prosecutor general — not President Zelensky — would commit to pursue the Burisma investigation.”
Tim Morrison testified to Congress that, while he did know that $400,000 in aid was being withheld from Ukraine, he had “hoped” that the decision to do that was from Sondland directly and that he had not gotten President Donald Trump involved.
However, the former Russia advisor did note that the White House is “genuinely invested in their anti-corruption agenda”, not in simply hurting Joe Biden during an election year.
Morrison also noted that he did not want his testimony on Thursday to be directly associated with his decision to testify, stating.
“I have not submitted a formal resignation at this time because I do not want anyone to think there is a connection between my testimony today and my impending departure. I plan to finalize my transition from the NSC after my testimony is complete.”
It is unclear what Tim Morrison will be doing for work after departing the White House.