Tag: National Security Council

A Mysterious ‘-1’ and Other Call Records Show How Giuliani Pressured Ukraine

WASHINGTON — In the two days before President Trump forced out the American ambassador to Ukraine in April, his personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was on the phone with the White House more than a dozen times. Phone records cited in the impeachment report released Tuesday by the House Intelligence Committee illustrate the sprawling reach […]

Read More

Fiona Hill and the American Idea

For a naturalized American, raised in Britain, I found Fiona Hill’s testimony at impeachment hearings this week to be a powerful reminder of what makes America great and of how President Trump has taken a sledgehammer to “its role as a beacon of hope in the world.” That is how Hill’s father, Alfred, a coal […]

Read More

Fiona Hill Viewed Serving Trump as Risky. Now She’s an Impeachment Witness.

WASHINGTON — Fiona Hill knew she was taking a risk in going to work for President Trump. A British-born coal-miner’s daughter with a Ph.D. from Harvard, Ms. Hill is a respected Russia expert, former intelligence analyst and co-author of a 500-page book analyzing the psyche of its president, Vladimir V. Putin. So the prospect of […]

Read More

Vindman’s Lawyer Asks Fox News to Retract Espionage Allegation

Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman is hitting back at the smear campaign against him. A lawyer for Colonel Vindman, the National Security Council’s Ukraine expert, sent a warning letter to Fox News on Wednesday seeking a retraction or correction of an October segment hosted by one of the network’s biggest personalities, Laura Ingraham, which baselessly […]

Read More

Gordon Sondland Is Likely to Face Tough Questions in Impeachment Hearing

WASHINGTON — Gordon D. Sondland, a West Coast hotelier and major Republican donor, gloried at first in his ability to hobnob with heads of state and parade his fledgling skills in international affairs after President Trump named him ambassador to the European Union last year. That was before the glare of the House impeachment inquiry […]

Read More

A Purple Heart, Combat Badge and Ranger Tab: Vindman Sends a Message

WASHINGTON — The uniform made an entrance at the top of the morning. Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a Purple Heart recipient and an Iraq war veteran, strode into the hearing room with chest and shoulders trimmed with his Combat Infantry Badge, his Ranger tab and other recognitions of military service. He stood there fidgeting […]

Read More

What We Learned Today From Impeachment Inquiry Hearings

WASHINGTON — Two top national security officials offered new details about President Trump’s pressure campaign on Ukraine as they appeared for testimony during the second week of public hearings in House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry. At issue is whether Mr. Trump abused his power by holding out security aid and a coveted White House meeting from […]

Read More

Impeachment Hearings Updates: Vindman, Williams and Others Head to Capitol Hill

Here’s what you need to know: ImageLt. Col. Alexander Vindman arriving for an interview with the House committees leading the impeachment investigation in October.Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times The basics: Who, what, when and how to watch Who: Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, the top Ukraine expert at the National Security Council, and Jennifer Williams, […]

Read More

Who Is Alexander Vindman? White House Aide Reported Ukraine Concerns

As the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council, Army Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman became so concerned during a July 25 phone call in which President Trump asked Ukraine’s president for help with political investigations that he reported his alarm to a superior. On Tuesday, Colonel Vindman will testify in the public phase […]

Read More

How Not to Plot Secret Foreign Policy: On a Cellphone and WhatsApp

Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor at the center of the impeachment investigation into the conduct of Ukraine policy, makes a living selling cybersecurity advice through his companies. President Trump even named him the administration’s first informal “cybersecurity adviser.” But inside the National Security Council, officials expressed wonderment that Mr. Giuliani was running […]

Read More

Trump, Ukraine and Impeachment: The Inside Story of How We Got Here

WASHINGTON — Like every presidential conversation with a foreign leader, this one had scripted talking points and a predigested news release recounting an exchange yet to take place. Aides in the White House Situation Room clustered around a speaker phone, pens and pads in hand to document what they heard. At 9:03 a.m. on Thursday, […]

Read More

Ukraine Affair Thrusts White House Lawyer Into Center of Crisis

WASHINGTON — The complaints came to the National Security Council’s top lawyer within hours of each other in early July. Two senior aides said they feared that one of President Trump’s top political appointees was improperly pressuring Ukrainian officials to help the president’s political fortunes. The lawyer, John A. Eisenberg, remained impassive, taking notes as […]

Read More

Hill and Vindman Testimony: Key Excerpts From Impeachment Inquiry Transcripts

ImageFiona Hill, President Trump’s former adviser on Russia and Europe, on Capitol Hill last week.Credit…T.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times House impeachment investigators on Friday released two more transcripts of closed-door depositions before the first public hearings in the inquiry begin next week. The transcripts include the testimonies of Fiona Hill, President Trump’s former […]

Read More

Aide Testified White House Lawyer Warned Him to Keep Trump Ukraine Call Secret

A National Security Council aide testified to impeachment investigators this week that a few days after he reported concerns about what President Trump said in a July phone call with the Ukrainian president, a top White House lawyer directed him not to discuss the contents of the call, according to people familiar with his deposition. […]

Read More

White House Aides Feared That Trump Had Another Ukraine Back Channel

WASHINGTON — When Kashyap Patel was an aide to the House Intelligence Committee in the first years of the Trump administration, he played a key role in helping Republicans try to undermine the Russia investigation, writing a memo that accused law enforcement officials of abusing their power. The memo, which consumed Washington for weeks, was […]

Read More

White House Is Said to Open Internal Review of Ukraine Call

WASHINGTON — President Trump has for weeks sought to unmask the whistle-blower who shed light on his Ukraine dealings. But instead aides have fixated on one another: Advisers began a fact-finding review that some fear is a hunt for a scapegoat, according to White House aides and other people familiar with it. Even as the […]

Read More

Bolton Objected to Ukraine Pressure Campaign, Calling Giuliani ‘a Hand Grenade’

WASHINGTON — The effort to pressure Ukraine for political help provoked a heated confrontation inside the White House last summer that so alarmed John R. Bolton, then the national security adviser, that he told an aide to alert White House lawyers, House investigators were told on Monday. Mr. Bolton got into a sharp exchange on […]

Read More

Ex-Trump Aide Fiona Hill to Testify on Pressure to Oust Ambassador to Ukraine

WASHINGTON — Fiona Hill, President Trump’s former top Russia and Europe adviser, headed to Capitol Hill on Monday morning where she is prepared to testify that she and other officials objected strenuously to the removal of the ambassador to Ukraine, only to be disregarded. Ms. Hill, who stepped down from the White House’s National Security […]

Read More

Former Trump Aide to Testify on Pressure to Oust Ambassador to Ukraine

WASHINGTON — Fiona Hill, President Trump’s former top Russia and Europe adviser, headed to Capitol Hill on Monday morning where she is prepared to testify that she and other officials objected strenuously to the removal of the ambassador to Ukraine, only to be disregarded. Ms. Hill, who stepped down from the White House’s National Security […]

Read More

2nd Official Is Weighing Whether to Blow the Whistle on Trump’s Ukraine Dealings

WASHINGTON — A second intelligence official who was alarmed by President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine is weighing whether to file his own formal whistle-blower complaint and testify to Congress, according to two people briefed on the matter. The official has more direct information about the events than the first whistle-blower, whose complaint that Mr. Trump […]

Read More

Schiff, House Intel Chairman, Got Early Account of Whistle-Blower’s Accusations

WASHINGTON — The Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, learned about the outlines of a C.I.A. officer’s concerns that President Trump had abused his power days before the officer filed a whistle-blower complaint, according to a spokesman and current and former American officials. The early account by the […]

Read More

The Extra-Secret White House Computer System, Explained

WASHINGTON — The whistle-blower who revealed President Trump’s attempt to pressure Ukraine’s leader to open investigations that could benefit him politically also accused White House officials of essentially hiding a rough record of the conversation by placing it in the same highly restricted computer system for closely guarded government secrets. In his complaint, the whistle-blower […]

Read More

Did the Trump White House Mishandle the Ukraine Call Memo?

The whistle-blower complaint and declassified call notes related to President Trump’s July 25 phone call with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has rightly prompted serious questions about Mr. Trump and his administration’s conduct of foreign affairs, official record-keeping and use of national security systems to safeguard sensitive information. As the former senior director of the […]

Read More