Oct 8, 2019

Ukraine whistleblower previously worked with unnamed 2020 candidate

Michael Atkinson testifies to House Intelligence Committee on October 4, 2019. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images

Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson told lawmakers last week that the whistleblower whose complaint about President Trump and Ukraine has set off an impeachment inquiry previously had "some type of professional relationship" with one of the 2020 Democratic candidates, the Washington Examiner first reported and Axios' Jonathan Swan has confirmed.

The big picture: Atkinson wrote in an Aug. 26 letter that the whistleblower demonstrated "some indicia of an arguable political bias ... in favor of a rival political candidate." CNN later reported that the whistleblower is a registered Democrat, which Trump allies have used in an effort to undermine their credibility. Much of the information laid out in the whistleblower's original complaint has since been substantiated.

Atkinson did not say which Democratic candidate or in what capacity the whistleblower worked. A source tells Axios that it was unclear whether the working relationship was in the course of government service or more political.

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

Go deeper

Updated 47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

CNN crew arrested live on air while reporting on Minneapolis protests

CNN's Omar Jimenez and his crew were arrested Friday by Minneapolis state police while reporting on the protests that followed the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in the city.

What happened: CNN anchors said Jimenez and his crew were arrested for not moving after being told to by police, though the live footage prior to their arrests clearly shows Jimenez talking calmly with police and offering to move wherever necessary.

First look: Trump courts Asian American vote amid coronavirus

Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

The president's re-election campaign debuts its "Asian Americans for Trump" initiative in a virtual event tonight, courting a slice of the nation's electorate that has experienced a surge in racism and harassment since the pandemic began.

The big question: How receptive will Asian American voters be in this moment? Trump has faced intense criticism for labeling COVID-19 the "Chinese virus" and the "Wuhan virus" and for appearing to compare Chinatowns in American cities to China itself.

How the U.S. might distribute a coronavirus vaccine

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Now that there are glimmers of hope for a coronavirus vaccine, governments, NGOs and others are hashing out plans for how vaccines could be distributed once they are available — and deciding who will get them first.

Why it matters: Potential game-changer vaccines will be sought after by everyone from global powers to local providers. After securing supplies, part of America's plan is to tap into its military know-how to distribute those COVID-19 vaccines.