Gordon Sondland said working for Trump was like staying at an all-inclusive resort: 'You're thrilled when you first arrive, but things start to go downhill fast'

Gordon Sondland said working for Trump was like staying at an all-inclusive resort: 'You're thrilled when you first arrive, but things start to go downhill fast'
A composite image of Gordon Sondland (left) and Donald Trump.
Gordon Sondland, former US ambassador to the European Union (left), and Donald Trump.Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images; Mario Tama/Getty Images
  • Gordon Sondland was an ambassador to the EU who Trump fired in 2020.

  • Sondland likened working for Trump to an "all-inclusive resort" stay that went bad quickly.

  • He also said "the people who work the place can be rude and not so bright."

Gordon Sondland, a one-time ambassador to the European Union, said working for former President Donald Trump was fabulous at first, but went bad very quickly.

"Over time, though, I realized that working with Trump was like staying at an all-inclusive resort. You're thrilled when you first arrive, but things start to go downhill fast," Sondland wrote in his forthcoming book, "The Envoy," in which he recounts what it was like working for Trump. Insider obtained an advance copy of the book, which is slated for release on October 25.

"Quality issues start to show. The people who work the place can be rude and not so bright. Attrition is a huge problem. And eventually, you begin to wonder why you agreed to the deal in the first place," he continued.

Before becoming the US ambassador to the EU, Sondland earned millions running a Portland-based chain of boutique hotels.

Trump's and Sondland's shared histories in hospitality weren't lost on the president: In the book's prologue, Sondland described Trump joking that Sondland was a "hotel guy" like him, just not as successful. Sondland assumed the joke was meant to show everyone in the room who was really in charge at the meeting.

"I didn't mind this sort of thing because in a job like mine, you had to take the good with the bad, and that meant putting up with Trump's insecurity," Sondland wrote.

Sondland was one of the key witnesses at Trump's first impeachment trial. During his bombshell testimony in November 2019, he admitted that Trump's team pressured Ukraine into digging up dirt on Hunter Biden — then-former Vice President Joe Biden's son. Sondland said there was a quid pro quo understanding with Ukraine, with the Trump administration leveraging military aid in exchange for the Biden investigation.

This undermined Trump's claim that there was no quid pro quo of any sort. Trump was impeached in December 2019. He was acquitted by the Senate in February 2020.

Sondland was fired from the Trump administration in February 2020, a few months after his testimony.

Despite his acrimonious departure from Trump's team, Sondland told The New York Times in an interview published this week that he still backs Trump's "amazing" policies. He told The Times, however, that he does not think Trump is "the person to taake those policies forward right now."

A representative at Trump's post-presidential press office did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

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