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Gordon Sondland. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

A $1 million donor to Trump’s inauguration committee who later became the EU ambassador is now on record saying he told a Ukrainian official that the country wouldn't get military aid unless they caved to President Trump's demands.

Why it matters: President Trump keeps denying the existence of a quid pro quo.

The big picture: Gordon Sondland's additions to his House testimony are the "first admission by a senior figure who had direct contact with Mr. Trump that the military aid for Ukraine was being held hostage to the president’s demands for investigations into his political rivals," the NY Times reports.

  • "A wealthy Oregon hotelier who donated to the president’s campaign and was rewarded with the plum diplomatic post, Mr. Sondland can hardly be dismissed as a 'Never Trumper.'"
  • Sondland was a critic of the president during the campaign, publicly denouncing him in August 2016 over differences in values and Trump's attacks on Gold Star father Khizr Khan.

Sondland's testimony is the fourth transcript to be released this week:

The bottom line: The question isn't whether Senate Republicans believe there to have been a quid pro quo. It's whether they believe it's worthy of conviction.

  • “If it were today I don’t think there’s any question — it would not lead to a removal," Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said today.

Go deeper: Lindsey Graham says he won't read House deposition transcripts

Go deeper

Updated 5 mins ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Updated 2 hours ago - Technology

Mayors see cryptocurrency as a way to address income inequality

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors' meeting in D.C. this week, there's buzz around the idea of giving cryptocurrency accounts to low-income people.

Why it matters: Cities have been experimenting with newfangled ways to address income inequality — like guaranteed income programs — and the latest wave of trials could involve paying benefits or dividends in bitcoin, stablecoin or other digital currencies.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February
  2. Vaccines: Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker