The Ukraine story is a Russia story

We talk about this as a Ukraine story. But it's also a Russia story. The leverage Trump had on Ukraine came from Russia's invasion of Crimea and continuing support for insurgents in Ukraine. The leverage Trump had on his own government came from the strategic threat posed by Russian aggression. And Trump’s willingness to use military aid to Ukraine as political leverage came from his odd lack of concern about Ukraine falling to Russia. In this episode, I talk with Evelyn Farkas, the Pentagon’s former point person on Russia and Ukraine, about the Russia-Ukraine crisis Trump exploited. It’s a conversation that changes how I understood this story. It’ll change how you understand it, too. I also talked with Vox’s Alex Ward about Ukraine envoy Bill Taylor’s testimony, former acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker’s argument that “abuse of power is not a crime,” and the GOP’s fury over the House Democrats’ process. And, at the end, a thought on why it’s Mitch McConnell, not Donald Trump, who poses the core threat to our constitutional structure. References: Read Bill Taylor's opening testimony "High Crimes and Misdemeanors," explained Credits: Producer and Editor - Jeff Geld Researcher - Roge Karma Engineers - Malachi Broadus & Chris Shurtleff Theme music composed by Jon Natchez  Special thanks to Liz Nelson Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

Om Podcasten

We are living through history, but keeping up with the unending stream of revelations, statements, tweets, and disputes is already difficult enough. If we’re going to understand this inquiry–and this presidency–we need to slow down the news cycle long enough to separate the signal from the noise. Every Saturday, Ezra Klein will do just that – through deep conversations with Vox reporters and leading policy voices about what’s going on, why it matters, and where it leaves us now.