diplomat claims president cared more about ‘investigating Bidens’ than Ukraine

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.