Former national security adviser John Bolton defended in an interview with ABC News on Sunday his decision not to testify at President Trump's impeachment inquiry, claiming it wouldn't have changed the outcome.

Why it matters: Bolton told ABC News that Trump "directly linked the provision of that [security] assistance with the investigation" into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden in Ukraine — the central allegation that saw him impeached in the House and later acquitted in the Senate. No official that testified was a direct witness to Trump explicitly tying aid to the investigations.

What he's saying: "I didn't think the Democrats had the wit or the political understanding or the reach to change what, for them, was an exercise in arousing their own base, so that they could say, 'We impeached Donald Trump.' To impeach him on the ground of Ukraine, knowing full well — they could see it, they knew it from their own behavior," Bolton said in the interview with ABC's Martha Raddatz.

"They pushed the Republicans in the House into unanimous opposition to their view. And they essentially did the same thing to Republicans in the Senate. This was a partisan play. It was not a Constitutional process. I judge that to be almost as irregular as what they were accusing Trump of doing.
"The Democrats can pursue whatever policy they want. They don't dictate to me how best to bring this to the attention of the American people. You can agree or disagree with the way I tried to do it, but I don't think anybody is required to engage in futile activity to satisfy the Democratic congressional leadership."
— Excerpt from Bolton's interview with ABC News

Flashback: In January, Trump tweeted: "I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens. In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book."

Go deeper: Trump whacked from within by John Bolton

Editor's note: This article has been updated with more details from Bolton's interview and further context.

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Bolton says he would have briefed Trump on Russian bounty intelligence

Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

Former national security adviser John Bolton told CBS News' "The Takeout" podcast" on Wednesday that he would have personally briefed President Trump if he saw intelligence that Russian officials offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops, but cautioned that Trump is simply not receptive to intelligence briefings.

Driving the news: "The purpose of the briefing process is to meet the particular needs of the president and present it to him in the way that best suits his desires," Bolton said. "The problem with Donald Trump is not that he is not receptive to one means or another. He's just not receptive to new facts."

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 12,772,755 — Total deaths: 566,036 — Total recoveries — 7,030,749Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 3,269,531 — Total deaths: 134,898 — Total recoveries: 995,576 — Total tested: 39,553,395Map.
  3. Politics: Trump wears face mask in public for first time.
  4. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000.
  5. Public health: Trump's coronavirus testing czar says lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table" — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  6. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."
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Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases

Data: Covid Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

Florida reported 15,299 confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday — a new single-day record for any state, according to its health department.

The big picture: The figure shatters both Florida's previous record of 11,458 new cases and the single-state record of 11,694 set by California last week, according to AP. It also surpasses New York's daily peak of 11,571 new cases in April, and comes just a day after Disney World reopened in Orlando.