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Fiona Hill, President Trump's former top Russia expert, testified during Thursday's impeachment hearing that Rudy Giuliani pushed views on Ukraine both publicly and privately "that would probably come back to haunt us."

The big picture: EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified yesterday that Giuliani headed up the White House's diplomatic efforts in Ukraine, saying that he only worked with Trump's personal lawyer "because the president directed us to do so."

  • He added, "We did not want to work with Mr. Giuliani. Simply put, we played the hand we were dealt. We all understood that if we refused to work with Mr. Giuliani, we would lose an important opportunity to cement relations between the United States and Ukraine."
  • Sondland also confirmed that a quid pro quo preconditioning a White House meeting in exchange for an investigation into the Biden family's business dealings in Ukraine took place and "reflected President Trump's desires and requirements."

Worth noting: Hill's response also provides a firsthand account of how former national security adviser John Bolton was worried by Giuliani's shadow diplomacy. She also relayed the infamous anecdote where he compared Giuliani to a "hand grenade."

  • Bolton has so far refused to testify in the impeachment inquiry, making Hill's testimony the clearest picture the investigation will likely form of his feelings about Giuliani's work.

Go deeper: Live updates on Fiona Hill and Holmes' impeachment testimony

Go deeper

Supreme Court rejects second GOP effort to cut absentee ballot deadline in N.C.

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The Supreme Court, for the second time in two days, rejected a GOP request to shorten the deadline mail-in ballots must be received by North Carolina officials to be counted.

The state of play: The state's deadline had been extended from 3 days to 9 days post-Election Day.

2 hours ago - Podcasts

The vaccine race turns toward nationalism

The coronavirus pandemic is worsening, both in the U.S. and abroad, with cases, hospitalizations and deaths all rising.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of global vaccine development — including why the U.S. and China seem to going at it alone — with medicinal chemist and biotech blogger Derek Lowe.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day.
  2. Politics: Top HHS spokesperson pitched coronavirus ad campaign as "helping the president" — Space Force's No. 2 general tests positive for coronavirus.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases — Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.