The biggest star of the first day of impeachment hearings was apparently George Kent's water bottle
- George Kent, a deputy assistant secretary for Europe and Eurasian affairs, brought a massive 64-ounce water bottle to the first televised hearing of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Wednesday, and people on social media made it the day's biggest star.
- As a key witness in the inquiry, Kent testified about former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's efforts on Trump's behalf to get information about former Vice President Joe Biden from Ukraine.
- At 64 ounces, the bottle holds enough water to stay hydrated all day.
- The water bottle is so big, in fact, that it appeared in dozens of pictures of Kent and Taylor throughout the hearing.
- People on social media were quick to praise the water bottle for being ec0-friendly, and also made jokes about it being so large.
- Nalgene even joined took the opportunity to post an ad for the water bottle during the hearing.
Joe Biden proposes $1.3 trillion infrastructure overhaul — and swipes at Trump for inaction
- In unveiling the proposal, the Biden campaign targeted President Donald Trump for a lack of progress on renewing American infrastructure.
- While during his 2016 campaign Trump promised an overhaul of roads, bridges and airports to spark economic growth, he has not made progress in passing a plan despite bipartisan interest in doing so.
- The leading contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination have put forward at least pieces of infrastructure plans.
- The top congressional Democrats — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer — met with Trump in April and emerged saying they agreed the country needed $2 trillion in infrastructure spending.
- But the president walked out of a subsequent meeting in May, saying he would not work on an infrastructure plan while Democrats investigated his conduct in office.
- The former vice president is one of the top Democratic contenders to face Trump in 2020.
What are emoluments and is Trump taking them from foreign powers?
- It has been updated to note that an appeals court dismissed a challenge from Maryland and the District of Columbia, which claimed President Donald Trump had violated the Emoluments Clause through his continued ownership of the Trump International Hotel in Washington.
- Less clear is whether the Trump Organization should have to ask Congress every time a foreign government wants to spend money at President Donald Trump's hotels.
- An appeals court in Virginia has rejected an emoluments lawsuit filed by Maryland and the District of Columbia, whose attorneys general said they would continue to pursue their legal claims against Trump over his ownership of the Trump International Hotel near the White House.
9 important takeaways from impeachment hearing
- In that timeline, he repeatedly made clear that there was a not-very-quiet understanding that military aid from the US to Ukraine was being withheld unless and until the country announced an investigation into Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company where Hunter Biden, the former vice president's son, sat on the board.
- While the focus of Wednesday's hearing -- from members of Congress at least -- is what Trump (and his allies) did in regard to Ukraine and the Bidens, both Taylor and George Kent, a State Department official, repeatedly expressed their concerns about the impact of withholding military aid to the country.
- One of the main thrusts of the GOP argument against the testimony of Taylor and Kent is that, for all of their concerns about what Trump asked of Zelensky, the nearly $400 million in military aid was released in September -- even without Ukraine making any public statement about its plans to investigate the Bidens.
Trump's China Trade Deal Hits Another Stalemate Over America's Pigs
- President Donald Trump has already issued a threat to China that tariffs could jump significantly if a deal is not signed, and now, yet another issue has put the brakes on a potential trade agreement between the two countries.
- Beijing wants to have the flexibility and doesn’t want to sign a trade deal that looks favorable to Trump and the U.S. In fact, people familiar with the matter say that China could stop importing pork and other products from the U.S. in case tensions rise again between the two countries.
- This means Beijing wants Trump to lift the 15% tariffs he imposed on Chinese goods worth $112 billion back in September.
- On the other hand, it appears that Donald Trump has gone back on his promise to lift trade war tariffs imposed on China.
What the impeachment hearing tells us about the path forward
- He was told that Ukrainians were ready to "move forward" on those investigations, during a phone call with US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, which Taylor's aide overheard at a restaurant in Kiev and relayed to his boss.
- David Holmes, Taylor's aide who overheard Trump asking about the investigations and asked Sondland about Trump's views on Ukraine, will provide closed-door testimony as part of the House impeachment inquiry on Friday.
- Mulvaney told reporters last month to "get over it," referring to the alleged quid pro quo, and said "there's going to be political influence in foreign policy." But Taylor told lawmakers that in his 50 years of public service, he had never seen another example of foreign aid being conditioned on the personal or political interests of a president.
- Taylor said that his aide had overheard that direct conversation between Sondland and Trump in which the President asked for an update on the Ukrainians announcing investigations.
Public impeachment hearing paints damning portrait of Trump
- Washington (CNN) - Dramatic new disclosures on Day 1 of the House impeachment hearings painted an incriminating picture of Donald Trump as a President instinctively willing to sacrifice America's interests for his own.
- He said that an aide -- who heard the call on a mobile phone while in a restaurant in a scenario that raised national security concerns -- reported that Trump asked Sondland about "the investigations" into former Vice President Joe Biden that he had requested from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
- Taylor and his colleague George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, also provided testimony to back up the theory that Trump demanded political dirt from on Biden.
- The Democratic plan over the next two weeks is to keep up a drumbeat of testimony designed to prove that Trump hijacked America's foreign policy interests for venal political gain.
Ukraine accusations come to life in public hearings. Here's the latest in the impeachment inquiry
- Taylor, the top official at the US Embassy in Ukraine, joined State Department official George Kent as the leadoff witnesses in public impeachment hearings to tell a story that's already known.
- Taylor expanded his earlier testimony to include the story of an aide who overheard Trump ask US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland over the telephone on July 26 about whether the Ukrainians would undertake investigations the US wanted.
- Specifically he responded on the new information we learned today: that Taylor said an aide had overheard Trump talking by phone to Sondland about Ukraine.
- She argues there is precedent for secret ballots in particularly tough votes on Capitol Hill, and there have been many stories about Republican senators being cowed by Trump.
After one day of TV hearings, the impeachment battle lines remain the same
- Washington (CNN) - Thirty-eight minutes into his opening statement during Wednesday's impeachment hearing, Amb. Bill Taylor, the career foreign service officer and top US diplomat to Ukraine, paused, took a drink of water, and delivered the day's biggest bombshell.
- Less than a week earlier, Taylor learned that a member of his staff had overheard President Donald Trump discussing "the investigations" in Ukraine while on the phone with EU ambassador Gordon Sondland.
- A trio of posters behind some of the Republican members that suggested the Democratic majority was being unfair ("93 Days Since Adam Schiff Learned The Identity of the Whistleblower" read one) got relatively little exposure on the TV cameras.
- From the outset, Democrats seized on Taylor's story, with Rep. Adam Schiff using his time for questions to have the ambassador repeat its details.
10 things you need to know before the opening bell
- The data released on Thursday showed that growth in the third quarter was led by consumption, with household and government expenditure increasing.
- 2. WeWork's third-quarter losses and cash crunch show why SoftBank valued it below $5 billion.
- 4. Here is everything we know so far about Elon Musk's new Tesla factory in Berlin.
- The city announced that it expects thousands of new jobs coming from Elon Musk's planned Tesla factory.
- Alibaba's Hong Kong listing will not only land it $13.4 billion, it will also garner goodwill from Beijing to help the Chinese e-commerce giant weather the fallout of a damaging trade war.
- 7. Singapore fines UBS $8 million over deceptive bond trades.
- Singapore said on Thursday it had levied an S$11.2 million ($8 million) fine on Swiss bank UBS after investigations showed its advisors deceived clients over prices for bonds and structured products.