The voice of top Ukraine diplomat William B. Taylor, who this morning provided compelling testimony to the House Intelligence Committee on the opening day of impeachment hearings, has great snap and timbre. He speaks with crisp diction and an excellent phrasing instinct. One is concurrently left with an impression that Taylor is a man of character and conviction, and is therefore trustworthy.
But I don’t get the Walter Cronkite analogy. Okay, their voices are vaguely similar. What people are really saying, I suspect, is that Taylor sounded as polished and well-spoken and generally convincing as Cronkite did for decades on the CBS Evening News.
CNN’s Chris Cillizza: “William B. Taylor, the top US official in Ukraine, delivered a tour-de-force opening statement — packed with details about the formation of an “irregular” channel (led by personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani) with Ukraine that often ran directly counter to his own regular channel and longstanding US policy in the region.
“Taylor also laid out an excruciatingly specific timeline of his interactions with, among others, National Security Adviser John Bolton, US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and top Ukrainian officials. In that timeline, he repeatedly made clear that there was a not-very-quiet understanding that military aid from the US to Ukraine was being withheld unless and until the country announced an investigation into Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company where Hunter Biden, the former vice president’s son, sat on the board.
“Most stunningly, Taylor recounted an episode that he was told about only after his September 22 closed-door testimony involving Sondland. According to Taylor, Sondland met with a top aide to Zelensky on July 26 — one day after the fateful call between Trump and Zelensky. Sondland then called Trump and informed him of the nature of the meeting and an aide to Taylor heard Trump ask of “the investigations.” Following that call, the Taylor aide asked Sondland what Trump’s thoughts were on Ukraine. Sondland replied that Trump cares more about the Biden investigation than anything else.”