House committees release texts showing reactions to Trump's demands on Ukraine

U.S. special representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker left and Marie Yovanovitch are

U.S. special representative to Ukraine Kurt Volker left and Marie Yovanovitch are

■ The inspector general for the intelligence community is testifying before a closed session of the House Intelligence Committee.

President Trump has been under fire ever since the release of a whistleblower report alleging that Trump tried to solicit damaging information from the Ukraine about his political rivals.

"For goodness' sake, I'm sorry, I have to jump in because I've heard a little bit about that", she said. "I weighed those equities hard and long until I had the president's admission that he did what he did".

Trump appeared to take the Democrats at their word - and said they were trying to short-circuit the will of voters.

The State Department said Volker has confirmed that he put a Zelenskiy adviser in contact with Giuliani, Trump's lawyer, at the Ukrainian adviser's request.

"With the hold (the delay in delivering the military aid), we have already shaken their faith in us", Taylor said in a text message to Gordon Sondland, the USA ambassador to the European Union.

"It's a very simple answer", Trump said of his call with Zelensky. He had ducked the question at a news conference on Wednesday.

The president's remarks sparked immediate outrage, with lawmakers and progressive critics accusing Trump of openly asking a foreign government to interfere in USA domestic politics. Giuliani told the paper that when he mentioned Yovanovitch to Trump in the spring, the President "remembered he had a problem with her earlier and thought she had been dismissed" and was then asked to provide a list of his allegations about the career diplomat again.

Investigators want to know whether such a message truly was delivered and if so, what it was and by whom. A White House official told The Journal that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in favor of the move.

The message exchanges between three United States diplomats - Gordon Sondland, the ambassador to the European Union, Kurt Volker, the then special envoy to Ukraine, and Bill Taylor, the acting ambassador to Kyiv, appeared to precede a July phone call between Trump and Zelensky, which triggered a formal impeachment inquiry by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi two weeks ago.

"China should start an investigation into the Bidens", Trump said in remarks to reporters outside the White House.

Other parts of the story remain unclear.

In a deluge of press interviews over the past week, Giuliani has said he was merely doing the State Department's bidding in reaching out to Ukrainians. He's also calling on China, which is run by an authoritarian government, to investigate a US citizen.

After a more than four-hour pause, Sondland texted Taylor that he was incorrect, and wrote that Trump "has been crystal clear, no quid pro quos of any kind".

There is strong evidence that the Biden family accepted bribes from both Chinese and Ukrainian interests.

While Pompeo and Giuliani battled the House committees, Trump also stepped up his personal attacks on Schiff, the leader of the impeachment investigation, as well as the anonymous whistleblower.

U.S. media said the State Department inspector general, a watchdog who is not under Pompeo's control, had requested an urgent meeting with senior congressional staff on Wednesday.

"You know what they call that", Trump said.

"Nobody has any doubt that they weren't crooked", the president continued.

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