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President Trump said Tuesday that former national security adviser John Bolton "would know nothing about what we're talking about" if he testified in the Senate impeachment trial, adding that it will be "up to the lawyers" and the Senate to decide whether he appears.

Reality check: A number of witnesses told the House impeachment inquiry that Bolton was present in several meetings and conversations related to President Trump's decision to withhold military aid to Ukraine. Axios also reported in November that current and former administration officials believe Bolton was the most prolific note-taker at the top level of the White House.

  • Former National Security Council official Tim Morrison told impeachment investigators Bolton met privately with the president in August to convince him to release nearly $400 million in frozen military aid to Ukraine.
  • Former White House official Fiona Hill recounted an episode during which Bolton told her, “I am not part of whatever drug deal [EU Ambassador Gordon] Sondland and [acting chief of staff Mick] Mulvaney are cooking up,” and asked her to relay that message to White House lawyers.
  • Bolton's lawyer confirmed in November he was a "part of many relevant meetings and conversations" that would be significant to the impeachment inquiry.

The state of play: Bolton said on Monday that he would testify in Trump's impeachment trial if the Senate subpoenaed him. However, that would require four GOP senators to vote with Democrats to call him as a witness, and it's unclear whether enough moderate Republicans would be willing to break ranks.

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday he plans to move forward on approving rules for the trial without negotiating with Democrats.
  • McConnell has expressed no interest in subpoenaing Bolton, but Minority Leader Chuck Schumer will still likely bring votes on witnesses after each side makes its opening arguments.

Of note: Trump tweeted in November about Bolton and his dealings with Ukraine, stating, "John Bolton is a patriot and may know that I held back the money from Ukraine because it is considered a corrupt country, & I wanted to know why nearby European countries weren’t putting up money also."

Go deeper: Key GOP senators don't want to subpoena John Bolton

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: McConnell temporarily halts in-person lunches for GOP caucus.
  3. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in DecemberAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  4. Education: U.S. public school enrollment drops as pandemic persists.
  5. Cities: Surge in cases forces San Francisco to impose curfew — Los Angeles County issues stay-at-home order, limits gatherings.
  6. Sports: NFL bans in-person team activities Monday, Tuesday due to COVID-19 surge — NBA announces new coronavirus protocols.
  7. World: London police arrest more than 150 during anti-lockdown protests — Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.

Tony Hsieh, longtime Zappos CEO, dies at 46

Tony Hsieh. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic

Tony Hsieh, the longtime ex-chief executive of Zappos, died on Friday after being injured in a house fire, his lawyer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He was 46.

The big picture: Hsieh was known for his unique approach to management, and following the 2008 recession his ongoing investment and efforts to revitalize the downtown Las Vegas area.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
13 hours ago - Economy & Business

The unicorn stampede is coming

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Airbnb and DoorDash plan to go public in the next few weeks, capping off a very busy year for IPOs.

What's next: You ain't seen nothing yet.