Nov 13, 2019

Trump denies discussing Ukraine investigations with Sondland in July phone call

During a press conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, President Trump said he knows nothing about an alleged July 26 phone call with EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland in which he is reported to have asked about the status of Ukrainian investigations he sought into the Bidens and the 2016 election.

"I know nothing about that. First time I've heard it. The one thing I've seen that Sondland said is that he did speak with me with for a brief moment and I said "no quid pro quo under any circumstances." And that's true. But I've never heard this. In any event, it is more secondhand information, but I've never heard it."
— President Trump

Why it matters: In the first public impeachment hearing on Wednesday, acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor revealed that he had been informed of the new revelation by a staff member last Friday.

  • The staff member, which has since been confirmed to be David Holmes, told Taylor that he overheard Trump discuss "the investigations" in Ukraine with Sondland the day after Trump's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
  • Sondland later told Holmes that Trump cared more about "the investigations of Biden" than Ukraine itself, according to Taylor.
  • Holmes has been called by House investigators to testify behind closed doors on Friday.

The big picture: The new detail suggests that Trump was more personally involved in Sondland and other U.S. officials' efforts to get Ukraine to announce these investigations, which have been condemned by Democrats and many of the impeachment witnesses as political.

Go deeper: Highlights from the impeachment hearing

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Autopsies say George Floyd's death was homicide

Police watch as demonstrators block a roadway while protesting the death of George Floyd in Miami. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Preliminary results from an independent autopsy commissioned by George Floyd's family found that his death in the custody of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was "homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain," according to a statement from the family's attorney.

The latest: An updated official autopsy released by the Hennepin County medical examiner also determined that the manner of Floyd's death was "homicide," ruling it was caused by "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdued, restraint, and neck compression."

The Biden-Trump split screen

Photos via Getty Images: Jim Watson/AFP (L); Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency (R)

The differences between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump are plain as day as the two respond to recent protests.

Why it matters: Americans are seeing firsthand how each presidential nominee responds to a national crisis happening during a global pandemic.

Louisville police chief fired after body cameras found inactive in shooting of black man

Louisville police officers during protests. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer fired the city's chief of police Steve Conrad after it was discovered that police officers had not activated their body cameras during the shooting of David McAtee, a local black business owner who was killed during protests early Monday morning.

Why it matters: Mandatory body camera policies have proven to be important in efforts to hold police officers accountable for excessive force against civilians and other misconduct. Those policies are under even greater scrutiny as the nation has erupted in protest over the killing of black people at the hands of police.