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Trump enters "The Beast" in Alabama on Nov. 9. Photo: Reuters/Tom Brenner

Republicans are divided in their approach to defend President Trump in the impeachment inquiry, AP reports.

What's happening: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has privately advised his colleagues to say as little about impeachment as possible. Last month, he held a meeting on the Senate's trial rules of procedure. Meanwhile, House Republicans have taken a bolder stance.

House Republicans' message on Trump's impeachment has four elements, a senior House GOP aide told AP:

  1. The White House memo of Trump’s July 25 call with the Ukrainian President "shows the president did nothing wrong."
  2. "Several key witnesses" testified to House impeachment committees that "they don’t have firsthand knowledge of what transpired."
  3. Ukraine "didn’t know the military aid was being upheld until it was publicly reported."
  4. "Eventually, the U.S. agreed to send the money to Ukraine."

Reality check: The memo shows that Trump pressed the president of Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden — and House Democrats have accused Trump of withholding military aid to increase that pressure.

  • Ukraine planned to announce investigations into the Biden family and the origins of the Russia probe up until it received military aid from the U.S., the New York Times reports.

Between the lines: Senate Republicans — potential jurors for Trump's impeachment trial — are playing it safer than their counterparts in the House.

Go deeper: Trump's Ukraine transcript gaps worry administration officials

Go deeper

Updated 58 mins ago - Health

Massage, facial, pedicure... intravenous drip?

A salon on the Upper East Side of New York that offers IV drip therapies. Photo: Jennifer A. Kingson/Axios

IV drips — the kind you might get if you're rushed to the hospital — are trending as a spa treatment, thanks in part to endorsements by celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Madonna.

Why it matters: Like other "wellness" trends with a whiff of medical imprimatur, IV nutrient drips can be harmless or mildly restorative — or go awry, particularly in the wrong hands.

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Philanthropy in the age of crypto

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The best charities are increasingly effective. That's the clear message sent by Open Philanthropy, the think tank that doubles as the grant-making vehicle for Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and his wife Cari Tuna.

Why it matters: With tech and crypto wealth becoming a fast-growing part of the philanthropic pie, there's more of an emphasis than ever on effectiveness — what the newly-divorced Melinda French Gates, in her recent Giving Pledge update, characterizes as giving as "impactfully as possible."

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