KETR

Mara Liasson

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

A foreign service officer detailed to work in the office of Vice President Pence testified behind closed doors on Thursday in the ongoing House impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

Jennifer Williams was assigned to work on European and Russian issues with the vice president's team in the spring. She is the first person from the vice president's office to testify in the probe of whether the president withheld military aid from Ukraine while seeking a political favor.

Updated at 11 a.m. ET

Investigators in the impeachment inquiry of President Trump hoped to talk to Charles Kupperman on Monday. But the former White House official failed to show up.

President Trump's former national security adviser, John Bolton, is known as a conservative foreign policy hawk. But he is turning into a key figure in the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry of Trump.

"All administrations are tempted to do bad things and have people who have bad instincts or wrong instincts," said Danielle Pletka, who oversees the conservative American Enterprise Institute's work on foreign policy and defense.

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Twelve Democratic presidential candidates will debate tonight in Westerville, Ohio. For a race that seemed static for a long time, suddenly there is a lot going on. Here's NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson.

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President Trump says efforts to forge a peace deal in Afghanistan are dead.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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It was the same stage in Miami - many of the same questions but different Democrats, all vying to become the next president of the United States, each fighting to stand out from the crowd.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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The first 2020 primary debate is tomorrow, and Thursday night in Miami, 20 candidates will be there. And some will be trying to introduce themselves to voters. Others will try to elbow the competition. NPR's Mara Liasson has the story.

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Updated at 4:14 p.m. ET

President Trump is set to unveil an immigration plan that would vastly change who is allowed into the United States.

Trump will present the plan in a speech from the White House Rose Garden Thursday afternoon.

The new plan would focus on reducing family-based immigration to the U.S. in favor of employment-skill-based immigration.

But overall, the number of green cards issued under this plan would not change, and there would be no reduction in net immigration.

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We are awaiting the release of special - the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report sometime later this morning, and we'll be covering that throughout the day. What we do have so far is a press conference that ended just a short while ago.

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It has been roughly 22 months since special counsel Robert Mueller began his investigation into the 2016 election. Along the way, he's charged 34 people, including 25 Russians. More than seven have been found guilty of crimes.

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We're going to continue the conversation with NPR national political correspondent Mara Liasson. Mara, Thanks so much for joining us.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Happy to be here.

MARTIN: What does this mean?

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Well, last night had all the pomp and circumstance that only a State of the Union can provide. President Trump delivered his second last night, weaving together partisan attacks and some calls for unity.

(SOUNDBITE OF 2019 STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS)

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President Trump was asked a pretty extraordinary question over the weekend. It came from Fox News host Jeanine Pirro. She asked Trump if he has ever worked for Russia. The president did not exactly say no. He did say this.

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