Gordon Sondland one of three million-dollar Trump donors to become ambassador

'That's how these guys get these jobs,' Home Depot co-founder says

Gordon Sondland, whose impeachment inquiry testimony riveted Capitol Hill on Wednesday, is far from the only million-dollar donor to be appointed an ambassador by President Trump.

Sondland is a wealthy Seattle hotelier who became ambassador to the European Union in 2018. Other ambassadors who gave at least $1 million to Trump's inaugural committee include Kelly Knight Craft, the ambassador to the United Nations who gave alongside her husband, and Woody Johnson, ambassador to the United Kingdom, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Sondland appeared before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday and testified that Trump did engage in a quid pro quo trading military aid for Ukraine for politically advantageous investigations.

Sondland is the founder of Provenance Hotels and funneled $1 million to Trump's inaugural committee through four LLCs in 2017.


Trump's inaugural committee was more than 90 percent funded by donors who gave $100,000 or more, the Center for Responsive Politics reported. All in all, the committee raked in $107 million. It's important to note that, unlike political campaigns, inaugural committees have no cap on donation amounts.

In this July 10, 2018, file photo, President Donald Trump is joined by Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, as he arrives at Melsbroek Air Base in Brussels, Belgium. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Gordon Sondland

Sondland's recent time in the spotlight prompted accusations that he "bought" his post.

"This guy Sondland ... I gather he bought his job," Home Depot co-founder Ken Langone told FOX Business' Stuart Varney on Thursday. "He paid a million bucks for the campaign celebration. That's how these guys get these jobs. I don't want to knock him."

Sondland initially supported Jeb Bush in 2016.

President Trump's nominee for ambassador to Canada Kelly Knight Craft testifies on Capitol Hill July 20, 2017. (REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

Kelly Knight Craft

Craft took her seat at the UN Security Council in September after serving as U.S. ambassador to Canada from 2017 to 2019.

She had worked with the UN before. Craft was appointed by former President George W. Bush in 2007 to serve as a member of the U.S. delegation to the UN. She focused on issues including U.S. engagement in Africa, according to her archived bio page on the University of Kentucky website.


Craft is married to Joe Craft, a coal executive. The couple has investments in the energy industry. Kelly Knight Craft has said she would recuse herself if ever a matter came up where she had a direct financial interest.

United States ambassador to the Court of St James Woody Johnson speaks at the new United States embassy building in London, Dec. 13, 2017. (REUTERS/Stefan Rousseau/Pool)

Woody Johnson

Trump nominated Johnson, who owns the New York Jets, for the post of U.S. ambassador to the UK in 2017. Johnson raised money for Trump's presidential campaign and donated funds to help pay for inaugural festivities.

Politicos from Washington Examiner commentator Tom Rogan to Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren blasted Johnson's nomination as cronyism.

Trump and Johnson have been friends since the 1980s, Newsweek reported.


Fox News' Adam Shaw and Ben Evanksy and The Associated Press contributed to this report.