He said senior officials, including the Director of the CIA, tried to get meetings with the president but couldn’t.
Mr Taylor was then told about a White House meeting where Mr Sondland had raised the “investigations.”
John Bolton, the national security adviser, abruptly ended the meeting, saying he didn’t want to be associated with a “drug deal” and told an assistant to “brief the lawyers,” Mr Taylor said.
Even though he was the top US diplomat in Ukraine, Mr Taylor did not receive a readout of the July 25 call between Mr Trump and Mr Zelenskiy.
Shortly afterwards, he went to the front in Ukraine. The day he was there a Ukrainian soldier died.
The diplomat said: “I could see the armed and hostile Russian-led forces on the other side of the damaged bridge. The Ukrainian commander thanked me for our assistance but I knew it was on hold. More Ukrainians would undoubtedly die without the assistance.”
On September 1 Mr Sondland told him Mr Trump “wanted President Zelenskiy in a public box” making a statement about the “investigations”. The US president wanted Mr Zelenskiy to “go to a microphone” or there would be “stalemate”.
Mr Trump was like a businessman signing a cheque and Ukraine had to “pay up,” Mr Sondland was said to have told Mr Taylor.
A plan emerged for Mr Zelenskiy to do an interview on CNN, announcing the Biden investigation, but it did not transpire, Mr Taylor said.