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Photos: Ludovic Marin, Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump is set to meet face to face with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine for the first time today at the UN General Assembly — right as the House is launching an impeachment inquiry around his July phone call with Zelensky.

What to watch: A senior White House official told reporters Trump will congratulate Zelensky on his election win and his “energy and success” so far on anti-corruption reforms. Trump will also raise trade and “his concerns about what he sees as some predatory Chinese economic activity in Ukraine,” the official said.

Zelensky told Voice of America Tuesday that he anticipates a “warm” meeting with Trump, but didn't comment on the call.

  • Zelensky, a 41-year-old political neophyte best known until recently for playing the president on TV, surged to power in May promising to tackle corruption and seek an end to the war still smoldering in Ukraine’s east.
  • He probably didn’t expect to find himself in the middle of a U.S. political scandal involving the sitting president and the favorite to face him next November.
  • Asked Tuesday what Ukraine expects from the U.S., Zelensky answered: “we expect support.”

Worth noting: Senior Ukrainian officials tell the Daily Beast they expect a renewed investigation into Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that had Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, on its board. It would be re-opened alongside several other cases as part of Zelensky’s anti-corruption drive — but not to please Trump or to target Joe Biden.

The backstory: Trump has admitted that in his July call with Zelensky he raised corruption suspicions about Joe Biden's actions in Ukraine, for which there is no evidence.

  • Trump has also confirmed that days before the call, he froze nearly $400 million in military aid intended to help Ukraine counter Russia. But he has denied there was a quid pro quo whereby the aid would be released if Ukraine investigated the Bidens.
  • Anger over the alleged suppression of a whistleblower’s concerns about that call begat a fast-moving scandal that has Speaker Nancy Pelosi, after months of pressure from within her caucus, calling for an impeachment inquiry.
  • Trump says this is all a “witch hunt.” He has promised to release the full transcript of the call with Zelensky today, adding additional drama to the Zelensky meeting.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - World

Scoop: Iran preparing to enrich weapons-grade uranium, Israel warns U.S.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi holds a press conference. Photo: Presidency of Iran handout via Getty

Israel has shared intelligence over the past two weeks with the U.S. and several European allies suggesting that Iran is taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to 90% purity — the level needed to produce a nuclear weapon, two U.S. sources briefed on the issue tell me.

Why it matters: Enriching to 90% would bring Iran closer than ever to the nuclear threshold. The Israeli warnings come as nuclear talks resume in Vienna, with Iran returning to the negotiating table on Monday after a five-month hiatus.

Biden: Fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns"

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden on Monday said that the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, is "a cause for concern, not a cause for panic."

Driving the news: Biden said later this week the administration will be releasing a strategy on how "we're going to fight COVID this winter. Not with shutdowns or lockdowns, but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more."

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: WHO says Omicron poses "very high" risk — Fauci says Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S. — U.S. restricts air travel from 8 countries over Omicron concerns.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.