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Politics Taylor: Trump Proposal to Buy Greenland ‘Took Up a Lot of Energy’ in National Security Council

22:25  06 november  2019
22:25  06 november  2019 Source:   usnews.com

Top Trump adviser next in impeachment hearing hot seat

  Top Trump adviser next in impeachment hearing hot seat A top adviser to President Donald Trump on Russia and Europe is resigning on the eve of his testimony in the House's impeachment probe.A senior administration official says Tim Morrison, a National Security Council official, "has decided to pursue other opportunities." The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, adds that Morrison has been considering leaving the administration for "some time.

President Donald Trump's proposal to purchase Greenland "took up a lot of energy" in the National Security Council, acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor told lawmakers during a closed-door deposition, according to a transcript released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie walking on a sidewalk: WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 21: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media before departing from the White House on August 21, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump spoke on several topics including the U.S. economy and why he canceled his trip to Denmark. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)© Mark Wilson/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 21: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the media before departing from the White House on August 21, 2019 in Washington, DC. President Trump spoke on several topics including the U.S. economy and why he canceled his trip to Denmark. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Wall Street Journal reported in August that Trump mentioned the idea of buying the autonomous Danish territory to advisers in passing conversation and at dinners, prompting a brief spat between the U.S. and Denmark. But it was unclear just how seriously Trump's advisers treated the idea at the time.

White House official corroborates diplomat’s account that Trump appeared to seek quid pro quo

  White House official corroborates diplomat’s account that Trump appeared to seek quid pro quo Tim Morrison corroborated the testimony of a senior diplomat who last week offered the most detailed account to date for how President Trump tried to use his office to pressure Ukraine.Morrison told impeachment investigators that the account offered by William B. Taylor Jr., the acting ambassador to Ukraine, is accurate. He said that he alerted Taylor to a push by Trump and his deputies to withhold both security aid and a White House visit for the Ukrainian president until Ukraine agreed to investigate the Bidens and interference in the 2016 presidential election, said one person, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive discussions.

The subject made an unexpected cameo in Taylor's deposition to lawmakers as part of the impeachment inquiry probing whether Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine for political gain.

The Greenland issue arose as Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., pursued a line of questioning related to a timeline of events Taylor laid out in his opening statement.

Schiff asked Taylor about his assertion that multiple national security officials sought a meeting with Trump to discuss lifting a hold on military aid to Ukraine but the meeting proved difficult to schedule.

Taylor replied in part, "I think this was also about the time of the Greenland question, about purchasing Greenland, which took up a lot of energy in the NSC," referring to the National Security Council.

"That's disturbing for a whole different reason," Schiff replied before the conversation veered back to the topic at hand.

Copyright 2019 U.S. News & World Report

House Intel announces additional witnesses for public impeachment hearings .
House Intel announces additional witnesses for public impeachment hearingsChairman Adam Schiff announced that next Tuesday the panel will hear from Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence; Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, who serves as the director for European Affairs at the National Security Council; Ambassador Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine; and Tim Morrison, a White House aide with the National Security Council focusing on Europe and Russia policy.

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