Sep 27, 2019

U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker resigns

Volker speaks in Kiev on July 27, 2019. Photo: Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images

U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker resigned on Friday, 1 day after the whistleblower report on President Trump and Ukraine was released, Arizona State University's student newspaper first reported and outlets including CNN confirm.

Why it matters: The whistleblower at the heart of a controversy over Trump and Ukraine said that Volker, along with U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland, met with Ukrainian officials a day after Trump's July phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to the whistleblower, Volker and Sondland provided Ukrainian officials with advice on how to "navigate" Trump's demands.

  • Volker is scheduled for a deposition on Oct.3 as part of the House impeachment inquiry and committee investigations into whether Trump jeopardized national security by pressuring Ukraine's president to investigate political rival Joe Biden.
  • Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael Atkinson found the whistleblower complaint to be credible.

Volker was appointed in 2017 to help resolve the war against Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine’s east. He also directs the McCain Institute, a think tank on Arizona State’s campus.

Go deeper

Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Clashes erupted between police and protesters in several major U.S. cities Saturday night as demonstrations over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black men spread across the country.

The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

Updated 41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. cities crack down on protesters

Demonstrators gather at Lafayette Park across from the White House to protest the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

Trump to invite Russia and other non-member G7 countries to summit

President Trump at Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Saturday. Photo: Saul Martinez/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Saturday evening he would postpone the G7 summit to September and expand the meeting to more nations that are not members of the Group of 7.

Details: Trump said he would invite Russia, South Korea, Australia and India to the summit, according to a pool report. "I don’t feel that as a G7 it properly represents what’s going on in the world. It’s a very outdated group of countries," he said.