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Former Trump homeland security adviser Tom Bossert said on ABC's "This Week" that the conspiracy theory that Ukraine hacked the Democratic National Committee in 2016 has been "debunked," and he condemned Rudy Giuliani for continuing to push it with President Trump.

"It's not only a conspiracy theory, it is completely debunked. I don't want to be glib about this matter, but last year, retired former Sen. Judd Gregg wrote a piece in The Hill magazine saying the 3 ways or the 5 ways to impeach one's self. And the 3rd way was to hire Rudy Giuliani. And at this point, I am deeply frustrated with what he and the legal team is doing in repeating that debunked theory to the president. It sticks in his mind when he hears it over and over again. And for clarity here, George, let me just again repeat that it has no validity."

Why it matters: In his phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump claimed that the hacked DNC server is in Ukraine and asked Zelensky to work with Attorney General Bill Barr to "get to the bottom of it." The assertion is part of an easily debunked right-wing conspiracy theory that alleges that CrowdStrike, the first firm to publicly release evidence that Russia perpetrated the hack, made up information to fuel the Russia investigation.

The big picture: Bossert said that while he doesn't believe Trump was "pressuring" the Ukrainian president, he was "deeply disturbed" by the phone call and said that Trump could be in serious trouble as House Democrats' formal impeachment inquiry heats up: "It is a bad day and a bad week for the president and for this country if he is asking for political dirt on an opponent."

  • Bossert added that Trump needs to "move forward" from 2016 collusion allegations and that Giuliani's obsession with the Ukraine-DNC conspiracy could help bring down the president.

Go deeper: Trump, Ukraine's president and the call heard 'round the world

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

The latest: Lawyers for James and Jennifer Crumbley told the Detroit News they are "returning to the area to be arraigned," after law enforcement officials announced a search for the Crumbleys had been initiated.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
6 hours ago - World

Putin to demand legal guarantee against NATO expansion in call with Biden

Biden and Putin meeting in Geneva in June. Photo: Mikhail Metzel\TASS via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin is demanding a legally binding guarantee that NATO will not expand east — including to Ukraine — and plans to raise the issue in an upcoming phone call with President Biden, according to the Kremlin.

Why it matters: Russia has massed more than 94,000 troops on the border with Ukraine and could be preparing for a large-scale invasion at the end of January, Ukraine's defense minister said Friday.

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