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The Latest: Witness says Burisma edited out of Ukraine call

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) The Latest on President Donald Trump and the House impeachment inquiry (all times local):

1:45 p.m.

A national security official told House impeachment investigators the transcript of the July 25 call between President Donald Trump and Ukraine's leader at the center of the probe was edited to remove a reference to the energy company with ties to Joe Biden's son.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman said President Volodymyr Zelenskiy had been prepped for the call with Trump. He said that Zelenskiy specifically referenced looking into the situation with Burisma, the company linked to Hunter Biden.

But Vindman said the rough transcript was edited to read: "the company."

Vindman also said the editing process for the rough transcript of the call went through a different, more secure system. And he had a difficult time logging into the system and had to get a hard copy and make edits on paper.

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1:40 p.m.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has appointed one of President Donald Trump's strongest defenders to the House intelligence committee days before the panel begins public impeachment hearings against him.

McCarthy announced Friday that Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan is joining the committee and another member, Arkansas Rep. Rick Crawford, is "temporarily stepping aside." Crawford will rejoin the panel after impeachment, McCarthy said.

Jordan is the top Republican on the House Oversight and Reform Committee and has been the top GOP spokesman as the intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees have led closed-door depositions with impeachment witnesses. Only the House intelligence panel is holding the public hearings, a move that shut Jordan out of the process.

McCarthy said Jordan "has been on the front lines in the fight for fairness and truth."

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1:20 p.m.

A national security official called in to testify before House committees on the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump says a diplomat specifically mentioned that the Ukrainians would have to investigate the Bidens.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman says in testimony that there was "no ambiguity."

He says the conversation happened during a White House meeting with Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Ukrainian officials and others.

Transcript of Vindman's testimony was released Friday.

Vindman is an Army officer assigned to the National Security Council.

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12:35 p.m.

House Democrats have released two new transcripts as they wrap up closed-door depositions in the impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump.

Impeachment investigators released the testimony of Fiona Hill, a former White House Russia adviser, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an Army officer assigned to the National Security Council. Both testified about their concerns as Trump pushed Ukraine for investigations of Democrats.

Vindman listened in to the July 25 call where Trump personally appealed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy for the investigations of political rival Joe Biden and his family and also Ukraine's role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

A whistleblower's complaint about that call triggered the impeachment probe.

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10 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he's considering releasing the transcript of an April call he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. He says that, if House investigators want to see a summary of the April 21 call, he has "no problem" giving it to them.

That call came three months before the July 25 call that sparked the impeachment inquiry into his efforts to push Zelenskiy to investigate his political rivals.

Trump on Friday also dismissed the significance of the impeachment inquiry testimony that has been released so far as he left the White House for a trip to Georgia.

He says, "No one seems to have any first-hand knowledge" and claims that, "Every one of those people canceled themselves out."

He's also criticizing Democrats in the House for planning public hearings, even though the White House pushed for them to happen.

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1:05 a.m.

There were three words President Donald Trump wanted to hear from the Ukraine president: Investigations, Biden, Clinton.

That's according to the transcript, released Thursday, of an impeachment inquiry interview with career State Department official George Kent.

Kent told investigators that that was his understanding of what Trump wanted Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to say in order to unlock U.S. military aid, as relayed to the official by others, including those in direct contact with the president.

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