Photo: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC Newswire/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Republicans and Democrats familiar with the closed-door testimony in the House impeachment inquiry tell Axios that Rudy Giuliani and his Ukraine activity has been a unifying thread for the witnesses.

The other side: White House sources say that they're increasingly pulling their hair out because of him.

Our big takeaway: While Democrats say that everything they’ve heard so far has only helped them, nothing in the depositions so far appears to have moved any Republicans closer to impeachment.

  • What to watch: How much longer can the committees sustain this pace? Fatigue is appearing on both sides.

Pelosi quote du jour: "We were sending that military assistance because of Ukraine needing that vis-à-vis Russia. All roads seem to lead to Putin with the president though, isn’t it so?"

  • What we're watching: House Dems began discussing the possibility of summoning acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and former national security adviser John Bolton, per the WashPost.

🇺🇦 "Three amigos": Career State Department official George Kent testified that he was told by administration officials to "lay low" on Ukraine as "three amigos" tied to the White House took over U.S. foreign policy toward the Eastern European ally, AP reports.

  • Kent described the results of a May 23 meeting at the White House, organized by Mulvaney, where three administration officials — EU ambassador Gordon Sondland, special envoy Kurt Volker and Energy Secretary Rick Perry — declared themselves the people responsible for Ukraine policy.

Go deeper: The coming appearances in House Democrats' impeachment probe

Go deeper

Pelosi on state of coronavirus stimulus talks: "It's a chasm"

Democrats and the Trump administration remain "miles apart" on negotiations over a coronavirus stimulus deal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Wednesday.

Driving the news, via Axios' Dion Rabouin: Congress' failure to renew enhanced unemployment measures for millions of Americans at the end of July is already affecting consumer spending patterns, holding down retail purchases and foot traffic, economists at Deutsche Bank say.

Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of noon ET: 20,391,697 — Total deaths: 744,211— Total recoveries: 12,625,076Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11:30 a.m. ET: 5,161,612 — Total deaths: 164,690 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits — U.S. producer prices rose last month by the most since October 2018.
  4. Public health: America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.
  5. Education: Gallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.
  6. World: Lebanon reports coronavirus record, UN warns Beirut blast may drive cases higher
47 mins ago - World

U.S. threatens to veto UN peacekeeping in Lebanon over Hezbollah concerns

Peacekeepers with Lebanese troops in southern Lebanon. Photo: Jalaa Marey/AFP via Getty

The Trump administration is threatening to veto a resolution to extend the UN's long-standing peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon if its mandate isn't changed, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: The U.S. is the main funder of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has an annual budget of $250 million. The veto threat is a tactical move, and part of a broader effort to put pressure on Iran and its proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah.