David Hale will tell Congress politics were behind the agency’s refusal to defend former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch

2.30pm GMT

Donald Trump, true to form, is insisting that the devastating Republican loss in the Kentucky governor’s election had nothing to do with him.

Early this morning Trump claimed Matt Bevin, the Republican incumbent in Kentucky, “picked up at least 15 points in last days” due to Trump’s appearance at a rally with Bevin. The polls suggest otherwise, however.

Stock Markets (all three) hit another ALL TIME & HISTORIC HIGH yesterday! You are sooo lucky to have me as your President (just kidding!). Spend your money well!

2.20pm GMT

David Hale is presumably being sworn in right about now. According to the AP report, Hale will tell Adam Schiff et al more about the circumstances behind Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch being hung out to dry after she was targeted by Giuliani and other Trump allies.

In her own testimony, released on Monday, Yovanovitch revealed her “shock” upon learning that Rudy Giuliani was running a shadow foreign policy that involved attacks on her reputation. When she reached out to the State Department to ask for some defense against smears against her, none was forthcoming.

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