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Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) argued on CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that Ukrainian officials will not say that President Trump conditioned military aid on their announcement of political investigations because "they are presently reliant on the goodwill of Donald Trump."

"Now, the Ukrainians are always going to try to put a good spin on this. The Ukrainians aren't going to come out and accuse the president of extortion. Why? Because they are presently reliant on the goodwill of Donald Trump in order to keep that country safe. They can't take on the president because at any moment he could stop the security aid once more. So nobody should be surprised when the Ukrainians are trying to put as good a spin on this as possible, are trying to stay in the president's good graces. Because right now the president still holds enormous leverage over that country's independence and sovereignty."

The big picture: Top Ukrainian officials, including the country's foreign minister as recently as Thursday, have denied that the Trump administration explicitly linked the aid to an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said that he did not feel pressure and that he does not want to interfere in "democratic, open elections" in the U.S.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. faces urgent anti-hacker crisis

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The Biden administration is accelerating efforts to fill nearly 600,000 vacant cybersecurity positions in the public and private sectors bogging down efforts to protect digital infrastructure.

Why it matters: Following a deluge of ransomware attacks targeting critical government and corporate infrastructure this year, clogs in the talent pipeline are leaving federal, cash-strapped local governments and Big Business even more susceptible to hacking.

Mike Allen, author of AM
5 hours ago - World

Courage vs. coddling with China

Peng Shuai of China serves during the China Open in Beijing in 2017. Photo: Andy Wong/AP

The women's professional tennis tour suspended tournaments in China Wednesday out of concern for Peng Shuai, on the same day that a top business voice made excuses for Beijing.

Why it matters: Ahead of February's Winter Olympics in Beijing, some sports figures are taking on the regime — while Big Business shrinks from confrontation with the world's second-largest economy.

5 hours ago - Sports

What to know about the first MLB lockout since 1995

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Hope you enjoyed the recent flurry of free-agent activity, because it's likely the last non-lockout-related MLB news for a while.

Driving the news: The owners locked out the players after the collective bargaining agreement expired at midnight last night, leading to MLB's ninth work stoppage — and first since 1995.