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President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a Sept. 25 meeting in New York. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

As House Democrats step up their impeachment inquiries, President Trump sought to clarify via Twitter Wednesday night the context of his infamous July 25 phone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart, President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Flashback: A memo of Trump's call with Zelensky shows the Ukrainian president brought up the possibility of buying more U.S. Javelin missiles for Ukraine's war against Russia, before Trump says: "I would like you to do us a favor though."

  • Trump then asked Zelensky to look into Ukraine's alleged involvement in the 2016 election, and to work with his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who served on the board of the Ukrainian energy company Burisma.

Why it matters: The term "us" and what Trump meant by it is a central point in the impeachment inquiry.

  • While Trump insisted Wednesday he meant the U.S., House Democrats say in their draft report released Tuesday that he abused the power of his office to press Ukraine to investigate a potential 2020 rival to the benefit of his re-election campaign.
  • The Democrats concluded "that he obstructed Congress' authority by ordering witnesses to defy subpoenas in the impeachment inquiry," Axios' Alayna Treene notes.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution

Joe Biden. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden promised to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase vaccine manufacturing, as he outlined a five-point plan to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccinations in the first months of his presidency.

Why it matters: With the Center for Disease Control and Prevention warning of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus, Biden is trying to establish how he’ll approach the pandemic differently than President Trump.

A new Washington

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Image

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Friday that the city should expect a "new normal" for security — even after President-elect Biden's inauguration.

The state of play: Inaugurations are usually a point of celebration in D.C., but over 20,000 troops are now patrolling Washington streets in an unprecedented preparation for Biden's swearing-in on Jan. 20.

Mike Pence calls Kamala Harris to offer congratulations and help

Mike Pence. Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty

Vice President Mike Pence called Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Thursday to congratulate her and offer assistance in the transition, the New York Times first reported.

Why it matters: The belated conversation came six days before the inauguration after a contentious post-election stretch. President Trump has neither spoken with President-elect Joe Biden, nor explicitly conceded the 2020 election.

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