Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Marie Yovanovitch. Photo: Maxym Marusenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Rudy Giuliani told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday that he considered former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch to be an obstacle to his efforts to push Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, and that he informed President Trump of his concerns shortly before she was abruptly recalled in May 2019.

Why it matters: The whistleblower complaint at the heart of an impeachment inquiry into Trump claimed that Yovanovitch's ouster was one of the "circumstances" that led the whistleblower to believe Trump may have been abusing his power by soliciting foreign election interference. Yovanovitch is scheduled to appear in a deposition before the committees investigating Trump and Ukraine next Wednesday.

The big picture: Giuliani's efforts to oust Yovanovitch are well-documented. He told the Journal that he reminded Trump last spring about allegations that Yovanovitch displayed "anti-Trump bias" and that Trump "remembered he had a problem with her earlier and thought she had been dismissed."

  • Giuliani said he received a follow-up call from the White House asking for more specifics about Yovanovitch and that she was recalled shortly after.
  • He also told the Journal that he provided Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with documents about Yovanovitch's alleged "closeness" to Biden and that Pompeo told him he would investigate.
  • These documents were later flagged by the State Department inspector general, who briefed lawmakers on the "assorted news clippings and conspiratorial memos" on Wednesday.

In a statement after the briefing, the chairs of the House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees said:

“The briefing and documents raise troubling questions about apparent efforts inside and outside the Trump Administration to target specific officials, including former Vice President Joe Biden's son and then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Masha Yovanovitch, who was abruptly removed as Ambassador in May after a sustained campaign against her by the President’s agent, Rudy Giuliani.
The documents provided by the Inspector General included a package of disinformation, debunked conspiracy theories, and baseless allegations in an envelope marked 'White House' and containing folders labeled 'Trump Hotel.' These documents also reinforce concern that the President and his allies sought to use the machinery of the State Department to further the President’s personal political interests."

Go deeper: Trump impeachment threat engulfs all corners of federal government

Go deeper

Salesforce rolls the dice on Slack

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Salesforce's likely acquisition of workplace messaging service Slack — not yet a done deal but widely anticipated to be announced Tuesday afternoon — represents a big gamble for everyone involved.

For Slack, challenged by competition from Microsoft, the bet is that a deeper-pocketed owner like Salesforce, with wide experience selling into large companies, will help the bottom line.

FBI stats show border cities are among the safest

Data: FBI, Kansas Bureau of Investigation; Note: This table includes the eight largest communities on the U.S.-Mexico border and eight other U.S. cities similar in population size and demographics; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

U.S. communities along the Mexico border are among the safest in America, with some border cities holding crime rates well below the national average, FBI statistics show.

Why it matters: The latest crime data collected by the FBI from 2019 contradicts the narrative by President Trump and others that the U.S.-Mexico border is a "lawless" region suffering from violence and mayhem.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
2 hours ago - Science

The rise of military space powers

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nations around the world are shoring up their defensive and offensive capabilities in space — for today's wars and tomorrow's.

Why it matters: Using space as a warfighting domain opens up new avenues for technologically advanced nations to dominate their enemies. But it can also make those countries more vulnerable to attack in novel ways.