Vice President Mike Pence said on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that there was no quid pro quo involved in President Trump's desire for Ukraine to open political investigations, despite testimonies from top State Department officials that suggest otherwise.

The exchange:

MARGARET BRENNAN: "We have had at least four U.S. officials under oath say that they had knowledge of a deal being offered that made military aid and a meeting with the president contingent on opening an investigation that relates to the company Joe Biden's son served on the board of. Are they all lying?"
PENCE: "I can only tell you what I know. And what I know is that the transcript of the president's call with President Zelensky shows that there was no quid pro quo. He did nothing wrong. In all of my interactions with President Zelensky, we focused entirely on President Zelensky's agenda to bring about reforms to end corruption in Ukraine and to bring together the European community to provide greater support for Ukraine. President Zelensky said there was no pressure."

Why it matters: Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine, testified to House investigators this month that nearly $400 million of congressionally approved military aid was contingent on Ukraine opening investigations into allegations of interference in the 2016 election and the natural gas company Burisma, where Hunter Biden sat on the board. U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland testified that there was a quid pro quo involving the investigations and a White House visit for Zelensky.

  • Pence argued that the summary of Trump's July phone call with Ukraine's president does not show any quid pro quo, but the testimonies collected in the House impeachment investigation thus far go beyond the phone call.
  • Several officials have alleged there was a months-long pressure campaign led by Rudy Giuliani — in effect, a shadow foreign policy run outside of traditional administration channels.

Go deeper: Ukraine felt early Trump pressure and knew of military aid freeze

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 19,282,972 — Total deaths: 718,851 — Total recoveries — 11,671,491Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:45 p.m. ET: 4,937,441 — Total deaths: 161,248 — Total recoveries: 1,623,870 — Total tests: 60,415,558Map.
  3. Politics: Trump says he's prepared to sign executive orders on coronavirus aid.
  4. Education: Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning.
  5. Public health: Surgeon general urges flu shots to prevent "double whammy" with coronavirus — Massachusetts pauses reopening after uptick in coronavirus cases.
  6. World: Africa records over 1 million coronavirus cases — Gates Foundation puts $150 million behind coronavirus vaccine production.

Warren and Clinton to speak on same night of Democratic convention

(Photos: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images, Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton both are slated to speak on the Wednesday of the Democratic convention — Aug. 19 — four sources familiar with the planning told Axios.

Why it matters: That's the same night Joe Biden's running mate (to be revealed next week) will address the nation. Clinton and Warren represent two of the most influential wise-women of Democratic politics with the potential to turn out millions of establishment and progressive voters in November.

Trump considering order on pre-existing condition protections, which already exist

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President Trump announced on Friday he will pursue an executive order requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions, something that is already law.

Why it matters: The Affordable Care Act already requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions. The Trump administration is currently arguing in a case before the Supreme Court to strike down that very law — including its pre-existing condition protections.