Nov 17, 2019

Sen. Chris Murphy says Ukraine won't admit pressure because of reliance on U.S.

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.

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Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.