Nov 21, 2019

Hill: Giuliani pushed views on Ukraine "that would probably come back to haunt us"

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

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Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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Minnesota activates National Guard amid fallout from George Floyd death

A portrait of George Floyd hangs on a street light pole in Minneapolis. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

George Floyd, 46, moved to Minnesota to improve his life and become his "best self," but instead, he is dead because of Minneapolis police.

The latest: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz declared a state of emergency and activated the state's National Guard in response to violent clashes over the past two days between police and protesters in the Twin Cities.

Trump signs executive order targeting protections for social media platforms

President Trump signed an executive order on Thursday designed to limit the legal protections that shield social media companies from liability for the content users post on their platforms.

What they're saying: "Currently, social media giants like Twitter receive an unprecedented liability shield based on the theory that they are a neutral platform, which they are not," Trump said in the Oval Office. "We are fed up with it. It is unfair, and it's been very unfair."