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Michael McKinley in the Capitol, Oct. 16. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Michael McKinley, former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, aired concerns about an increasingly politicized State Department to House committees leading an impeachment inquiry into President Trump on Wednesday, according to excerpts of his prepared remarks released to news outlets.

What he's saying: McKinley said he abruptly resigned last week after the State Department did not publicly support former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, following Trump disparaging her on a July 25 phone call to the Ukrainian president, the New York Times reports. McKinley said the State Department had discouraged diplomats from testifying to House investigators, per the Times.

What he's saying: Per NPR, McKinley said during his testimony, "The timing of my resignation was the result of two overriding concerns: the failure, in my view, of the State Department to offer support to Foreign Service employees caught up in the impeachment inquiry on Ukraine; and, second, by what appears to be the utilization of our ambassadors overseas to advance domestic political objectives."

"I was disturbed by the implication that foreign governments were being approached to procure negative information on political opponents. I was convinced that this would also have a serious impact on foreign service morale and the integrity of our work overseas."
"Since I began my career in 1982, I have served my country and every President loyally. Under current circumstances, however, I could no longer look the other way as colleagues are denied the professional support and respect they deserve from us all."
Excerpt of McKinley's testimony

The state of play: The White House has refused to comply with House investigations into whether Trump jeopardized national security by allegedly pressing Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 presidential election and by withholding security assistance provided by Congress to help Ukraine.

Go deeper: Trump-Ukraine scandal: The key players, dates and documents

Go deeper

13 mins ago - Sports

American Katie Ledecky wins Olympic gold in women's 800m freestyle

Photo: François-Xavier Marit/AFP via Getty Images

American superstar swimmer Katie Ledecky grabbed her second gold medal of this year's Olympic Games, winning the women's 800-meter freestyle race Saturday in Tokyo.

Driving the news: Ledecky, who holds the world record in the 800m freestyle, is considered one of the best women swimmers of all time. Earlier this week, she snagged gold in the first-ever women's 1500m freestyle and took home silver medals in the 400m freestyle and the 4x2100m freestyle relay.

24 mins ago - Sports

Simone Biles won't compete in individual vault or uneven bars Olympic finals

Photo: Fred Lee via Getty Images

Simone Biles will not compete in the individual vault or uneven bars finals at the Tokyo Olympics, USA Gymnastics announced Friday.

Why it matters: Biles drew global attention after stepping out of the individual all-around and team finals to prioritize her mental health. It's unclear if she will compete in the balance beam or floor exercise events.

26 mins ago - Sports

Caeleb Dressel breaks world record in men's 100m butterfly, wins 3rd gold in Tokyo

Photo: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

American swimmer Caeleb Dressel broke the world record in the men's 100-meter butterfly final in Tokyo on Saturday, picking up his third gold medal of this year's Games.

The big picture: Dressel finished with a time of 49.45 seconds. Hungary's Kristóf Milák won the silver, and Switzerland's Noe Ponti took the bronze.