Washington (CNN)When President Donald Trump's phone rang in September, he was not eager for a lengthy conversation.
"The President was really in a bad mood," recounted the man on the line, US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who was hoping to learn whether the President was, in fact, withholding security assistance to coerce Ukraine into investigating political rivals.
"I wouldn't say he hung up me," Sondland recalled, "but it was almost like he hung up on me."
The absence of phone etiquette is hardly a surprise for a President not known for his manners. But the episode, recounted by Sondland during his daylong private deposition before lawmakers for the impeachment inquiry, helps color the portrait of a mercurial and loyalty-minded President that emerges from thousands of pages of transcribed sworn interviews.
Like a new book written by an anonymous administration official, the transcripts depict a President consumed by festering grievances and an administration perpetually thrown into chaos by rash decisions -- and the tweets that announce them. Unlike that book, these recollections are provided by named individuals, speaking under the threat of criminal prosecution for lying to Congress.
In the transcripts, which have dropped each day this week, Trump emerges as fickle, susceptible to flattery and prone to grudges.