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Volodymyr Zelensky and Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting, Sept. 25. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

A pair of anonymously sourced reports published Wednesday indicate that the Ukrainian government felt pressure from the Trump administration to pursue investigations into the president's political rivals in the U.S. earlier than previously known.

Driving the news: AP reports that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with advisers on May 7 to discuss how to navigate requests from Trump and Rudy Giuliani that would effectively push Ukraine to interfere in the 2020 presidential election. The New York Times reports that high-level Ukrainian officials were aware that Trump was withholding nearly $400 million in military aid by August, and that they were told to reach out to acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney to address it.

Why it matters: Zelensky's May 7 meeting came two weeks before he was inaugurated and more than two months before the July 25 phone call with Trump that set off the whistleblower complaint and ensuing impeachment inquiry.

  • The fact that officials knew about the aid freeze by August, if true, would undermine the argument by Trump and his allies that the Ukrainians could not have been bullied into opening these investigations because they weren't aware that security assistance was being withheld.

Go deeper: U.S. envoy testifies Trump tied Ukraine aid to Biden, DNC investigations

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
28 mins ago - Health

The U.S. is approaching the vaccine hesitancy "tipping point"

Expand chart
Data: CivicScience; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. will probably run out of adults who are enthusiastic about getting vaccinated within the next two to four weeks, according to a KFF analysis published yesterday.

Between the lines: Vaccine hesitancy is rapidly approaching as our main impediment to herd immunity.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
51 mins ago - Energy & Environment

The finance sector links arms on climate

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A big, UN-backed umbrella group of banks, asset managers, investors and insurers launched Wednesday to boost private clean tech finance and press polluting industries that use their services to cut emissions.

Why it matters: The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) is the broadest financial industry effort yet on climate change.

Scoop: Chris Christie friends believe he's running in 2024

Chris Christie at the White House in 2020. Photo: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is seriously considering running for president in 2024, three people familiar with his thinking tell Axios.

Driving the news: While Christie isn't saying anything publicly about his thinking — besides telling radio host Hugh Hewitt he's not ruling it out — people close to him have an early sense of the rationale and outlines of a potential candidacy.