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Responding to the release of a memorandum from a July phone call with President Trump on Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said at the UN that he doesn't want be involved in "democratic, open elections" in the U.S.

ZELENSKY: "I think you read everything. I think you read text. I'm sorry, but I don't want to be involved to democratic open ... elections. Elections of USA. No. Sure, we had, I think, good phone call. It was normal. We spoke about many things, and I — so I think and you read it that nobody pushed me."
TRUMP: "In other words, no pressure."

The big picture: The memorandum released by the White House confirmed that Trump asked Zelensky to work with his attorney Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate unsupported corruption allegations against Joe Biden.

  • Trump doubled down on the allegations in his press conference with Zelensky, claiming that Giuliani has "every right" to try to track down the origins of the Russia investigation in Ukraine and noting that Zelensky ran on an anti-corruption platform.
  • Responding to Speaker Nancy Pelosi's support of a formal impeachment inquiry in response to the Ukraine controversy, Trump attacked Pelosi for being "taken over by the radical left."
  • "As far as I’m concerned, unfortunately, she’s no longer the speaker of the House," he added.

Go deeper: Ukraine president's efforts to flatter Trump on display in July phone call

Go deeper

17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats settling on 25% corporate tax rate

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.). Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The universe of Democratic senators concerned about raising the corporate tax rate to 28% is broader than Sen. Joe Manchin, and the rate will likely land at 25%, parties close to the discussion tell Axios.

Why it matters: While increasing the rate from 21% to 25% would raise about $600 billion over 15 years, it would leave President Biden well short of paying for his proposed $2.25 trillion, eight-year infrastructure package.

GOP pivot: Big business to small dollars

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Republican leaders turned to grassroots supporters and raked in sizable donations after corporations cut them off post-Jan. 6.

Why it matters: If those companies hoped to push the GOP toward the center, they may have done just the opposite by turning Republican lawmakers toward their most committed — and ideologically driven — supporters.

CDC: Half of US adults have received one COVID-19 vaccine dose

Data: CDC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Half of US adults have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and about a third are fully vaccinated, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Why it matters: COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are still on the rise, CDC director Rochelle Walensky said during Friday's White House COVID-19 briefing. With cases in many states being driven by variants, public health officials have emphasized the need to ramp up vaccinations.

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