Sep 22, 2019

Romney condemns Trump-Ukraine allegations as "troubling in the extreme"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Sunday responded to allegations that President Trump pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and his son, condemning them as "troubling in the extreme" and tweeting that it's "[c]ritical for the facts to come out."

Why it matters: Romney's comments are the harshest to come from a Republican senator thus far, with others largely remaining silent or dismissing the allegations as gossip. It's worth noting, however, that both Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani confirmed on Sunday that the president discussed Biden during a July 25 phone call with Zelensky, though they contend that there was no "quid pro quo" involved.

The big picture: This is not the first time that Romney, a former presidential candidate, has spoken out against Trump. After the release of the redacted Mueller report in April, Romney tweeted that he was "sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the President."

  • But despite his condemnation of Trump's behavior at various points, Romney has never gone as far as Democrats in specifically calling for Trump to be investigated or impeached.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday that if the administration continues to block a whistleblower complaint involving Trump and Ukraine from being released, "they will be entering a grave new chapter of lawlessness which will take us into a whole new stage of investigation."

Go deeper: Trump confirms he discussed Biden with Ukrainian president

Go deeper

Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.