Sep 29, 2019

College journalist nabs global scoop on Trump's Ukraine envoy

A 20-year-old student at Arizona State University broke Friday's news of the departure of key State Department official Kurt Volker, who was involved in talks between President Trump and the Ukrainian government, AP reports.

Andrew Howard, a managing editor of The State Press student newspaper, scooped that Volker — executive director of the McCain Institute, a think tank in Washington that is run by Arizona State — had stepped down as the State Department's special envoy for Ukraine.

  • "I just talked to [the State Press] editor in chief and said we should look into this because we thought it would be good to localize a big story," Howard said.

When the story went online, Howard was working in the newsroom of the big Phoenix paper, the Arizona Republic, where he's an intern.

  • "I briefly said out loud: 'Sorry about that,' " he recalled. "They were incredibly nice about it. It was sort of a funny moment."

Go deeper: Student journalists are breaking big stories

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Pompeo confirms he was on Trump's Ukraine call

Mike Pompeo with Italy's foreign minister. Photo: Allberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed during a press conference in Rome Wednesday that he was on the line during the July phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Why it matters: Pompeo had previously been coy about his role in the call, giving ABC News' Martha Raddatz an evasive answer when she asked him directly about the call last week: "You just gave me a report about an IC whistleblower complaint — none of which I've seen."

Go deeperArrowOct 2, 2019

Kurt Volker resigns as McCain Institute head over Ukraine "distraction"

Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Former Ukraine envoy Kurt Volker resigned from his position as executive director of the McCain Institute amid scrutiny over his role in President Trump's ongoing controversy of his dealings with Ukraine's government.

The big picture: CNN's Jake Tapper reported that the McCain Institute stood by Volker until his release of text messages to a group of House committees showed that he was much more involved with the Ukraine matter than he had told people.

Go deeperArrowOct 7, 2019

NYT: U.S. envoys drafted statement committing Ukraine president to Biden probe

President Trump on Oct. 3 in The Villages, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Former U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker and Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland drafted a statement in August committing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigating the Ukrainian energy company for which Hunter Biden previously served on the board, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The statement, which also included a commitment to investigate Ukraine's alleged role in interfering in the 2016 election on behalf of Hillary Clinton, appears to be documentary evidence of high-level diplomats shaping foreign policy to the tune of President Trump's political agenda, per the Times.

Go deeperArrowOct 4, 2019