Dec 5, 2019

Trump: When I asked Ukraine to "do us a favor," I meant the U.S.

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.

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The latest: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told CNN on the president's quasi-offer: "Thank you but no thank you," and accused Trump of "calling out the American military for a photo opportunity."

2 hours ago - World

The world watches America burn

Newspaper front pages via the Newseum

The world is watching the grief and anger, violence and pain in America's streets.

The big picture: The U.S. accounts for nearly one-third of the world's deaths from COVID-19. The killing of a black man, George Floyd, by police has sparked days of protest and nights of chaos in America's major cities.

Trump walks to historic St. John's Church outside White House as protests rage

President Trump walked to the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church, located just steps away from the White House across Lafayette Park, on Monday night as protests linked to the murder of George Floyd raged across the capital and cities around the country.

What we're seeing: Military police and park rangers used physical force and tear gas on peaceful protestors to clear the area so that Trump could "pay respects" to the church that was damaged by a fire on Sunday.