Dana Farrington

Ambassador Gordon Sondland says he was directed by President Trump to talk to Rudy Giuliani about Trump's concerns over Ukraine, bypassing normal foreign policy channels.

That "disappointed him," he says — but even as he went along, he was kept out of Trump's strategy to pressure Ukraine to investigate the family of former Vice President Joe Biden.

Sondland says that he didn't know about it at the time and that for example, the account he received of Trump's now-famous phone call with Ukraine's president did not mention Trump's request about Biden.

Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, is speaking to Congress behind closed doors on Thursday as part of the House's impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

In his prepared remarks, the former businessman says: "as we go through this process, I understand that some people may have their own specific agendas: some may want me to say things to protect the President at all costs; some may want me to provide damning facts to support the other side. But none of that matters to me. ... Simply put, I am NOT here to push an agenda. I am here to tell the truth."

Updated at 12:33 p.m. ET

President Trump said Monday that his door might be open for meetings with Iran's president and China's leader as he concluded his visit to the G-7 summit in France, but it isn't clear what if any action may come next.

Trump said he believes Beijing "wants a deal very badly" to end its trade war with Washington and that he'd consider meeting with Iran's president if Tehran came to terms over its nuclear program.

"If the circumstances were correct or right I would certainly agree to that," Trump said.

The Senate intelligence committee has released its report on foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The report, which also includes recommendations for future security, came out the day after former special counsel Robert Mueller testified about his office's investigation into Russian attacks.

Mueller and intelligence officials have warned that the threat from 2016 persists, though Congress has been slow to take action.

Updated at 6:40 p.m. ET

President Trump announced an executive order on gathering citizenship information, a shift from an earlier effort to get a question about citizenship on the 2020 census.

Trump spoke alongside Attorney General William Barr, who praised his decision.

Sen. Cory Booker is "a big fan" of researcher and speaker Brené Brown. The Democratic presidential candidate embraces Brown's mantra that vulnerability is a strength — and his openness shows on the campaign trail.

Booker regularly tells the story of one of the most painful moments of his life, which happened when he first became the mayor of Newark, N.J.

Updated at 6:37 p.m. ET

Attorney General William Barr declined to appear before a hearing scheduled on Thursday before the House Judiciary Committee following hours of sometimes tough back-and-forth on Wednesday in the Senate.

The chairman of the House panel, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said that Barr was risking a contempt of Congress citation and that he would go ahead with his planned hearing — with an empty witness chair if necessary.

Attorney General William Barr has released a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election to Congress and the public.

The special counsel spent nearly two years investigating attacks on the 2016 presidential election and whether the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russians behind it.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET

Democrats have long called for President Trump to release his tax returns, and now a key congressman has put in a formal request with the IRS.

Massachusetts Democrat Richard Neal, chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, is requesting six years of Trump's personal tax returns and the returns for some of his businesses for the years 2013-2018. Neal argues that Congress, and his committee in particular, need to conduct oversight of the IRS, including its policy of auditing the tax returns of sitting presidents.

Leaders of the Justice Department have sent a summary of Robert Mueller's main findings to key members of Congress. The special counsel's office completed its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election on Friday.

The Russia investigation has ended, and special counsel Robert Mueller's report is now in the hands of Attorney General William Barr. Barr sent a letter on Friday notifying Congress that the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election had concluded.

Following Justice Department regulations, Barr addressed his letter to the leaders of the House and Senate judiciary committees.

Read the text of the letter below.

Updated at 7:26 p.m. ET

In a stunning reversal from comments he made just one day prior, President Trump said on Tuesday "there's blame on both sides" for the violence in Charlottesville, Va.

Updated at 5:40 p.m. ET

President Trump said he would invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to the White House "at the right time" when asked by a reporter on Air Force One Wednesday night.

"I don't think this is the right time, but the answer is yes I would," he said, according to a pool report released on Thursday. "Look, it's very easy for me to say absolutely, I won't. That's the easy thing for me to do, but that's the stupid thing to do."

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