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Trump sticks with "no quid pro quo" defense as testimonies mount

 President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York, September 23
Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump continued to insist Sunday that no quid pro quo took place over Ukraine aid in the face of mounting testimonies in the impeachment inquiry.

Why it matters: The president is doubling down in an apparent message to Senate Republicans, some of whom have reportedly acknowledged the possibility that a quid pro quo may have taken place during Trump's July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

  • The Washington Post reports the senators concluded at a private lunch Wednesday that Trump's request for Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden in exchange for military aid was legal and standard foreign policy. Therefore, it wouldn't constitute an impeachable offense.

Between the lines: Republican leadership sources told Axios' Jonathan Swan and Jim VandeHei they expect many GOP senators to "ultimately settle on a talking point that Trump's actions were 'inappropriate but not impeachable.'" Republicans' strategy is to "stay unified, in votes and voice," they write.

Go deeper: Trump's new reality: the daily dump