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Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump attacked acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor as a "Never Trumper" in a tweet Wednesday, after Taylor testified to House investigators that Trump had withheld military aid until Ukraine agreed to investigate his political opponents.

Never Trumper Republican John Bellinger, represents Never Trumper Diplomat Bill Taylor (who I don’t know), in testimony before Congress! Do Nothing Democrats allow Republicans Zero Representation, Zero due process, and Zero Transparency. Does anybody think this is fair? Even though there was no quid pro quo, I’m sure they would like to try. Worse than the Dems!

The big picture: Taylor is a long-standing public servant who graduated from West Point, fought in Vietnam, and has worked at the Department of Energy, the Senate, NATO, the State Department and the United States Institute of Peace. He has served in every administration since 1985 and was asked to return to serve as acting ambassador to Ukraine in May by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

  • In his testimony, Taylor expressed concerns that while there is an official channel for U.S.-Ukraine policy decisions, there has also been also an "irregular, informal" back channel run by Rudy Giuliani, special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland.
  • Taylor testified that Trump withheld desperately needed military aid as leverage to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and allegations of interference in the 2016 election on behalf of Democrats — the quid pro quo that Trump and his allies have long denied.
  • Taylor is being represented by attorney John Bellinger, who Trump also referred to as a "Never Trumper."

Earlier Wednesday, Trump tweeted that "Never Trumper Republicans, though on respirators with not many left, are in certain ways worse and more dangerous for our Country than the Do Nothing Democrats. Watch out for them, they are human scum!"

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

Go deeper

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has be charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."

4 hours ago - World

Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Containers carrying doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine arrive in Brazil. Photo: Maurio Pimentel/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil on Saturday began distributing the 2 million doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine that arrived from India Friday, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Brazil has the third highest COVID-19 case-count in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The 2 million doses "only scratch the surface of the shortfall," Brazilian public health experts told the AP.