Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker. Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker testified to the House Judiciary Committee Friday that he has "not interfered, in any way, with the special counsel's investigation."

The big picture: Whitaker's highly anticipated hearing was temporarily thrown into doubt Thursday after he informed the panel he would not appear unless he received assurances that he would not be served with a subpoena for invoking executive privilege. Whitaker has come under scrutiny from Democrats over his past criticisms of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, as well as his decision not to recuse himself from overseeing the probe against the recommendation of at least one Justice Department ethics official.

Other highlights:

  • On his discussions with Trump: "I have not talked to the president of the United States about the special counsel’s investigation. ... [Before becoming acting AG], I did not talk about my views about the Mueller investigation with anyone in the White House."
  • On the scope of Mueller's mandate: "In my experience, it's consistent with the appointments of other special counsels."
  • On whether the Mueller probe is a "witch hunt": "It would be inappropriate for me to talk about an ongoing investigation."
  • On his past comments about hamstringing the Mueller probe: "I have not denied any funds to the special counsel's investigation."
  • On his decision not to recuse himself: After a contentious back-and-forth, Whitaker said, "I consulted with career ethics officials. I consulted with my senior staff. I consulted with the Office of Legal Counsel. It was my decision to make. I decided not to recuse."
  • On his comments about Mueller wrapping up: "Bob Mueller is going to finish his investigation when he wants to finish his investigation. ... I have no reason to believe he's not honest."

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President Trump announced late Tuesday that the White House attempt to halt federal agencies' anti-racism training would be expanded to block federal contractors from "promoting radical ideologies that divide Americans by race or sex."

Why it matters: The executive order appears to give the government the ability to cancel contracts if anti-racist or diversity trainings focused on sexual identity or gender are organized. The memo applies to executive departments and agencies, the U.S. military, federal contractors and federal grant recipients.

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Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer declared a state of emergency Tuesday "due to the potential for civil unrest" ahead of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron's expected announcement on the Breonna Taylor case.

Of note: Louisville has witnessed more than 115 days of protests over the police killing of Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, with calls for all the officers involved to be charged.

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