Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney admitted to reporters Thursday that President Donald Trump did intend to get a favor from the Ukrainian president during their July phone call, but tried to claim that it did not matter. His comments came despite the fact that the quid pro quo is a key part of the impeachment investigation ensnaring the Trump administration. Also Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence announced a ceasefire in Syria. Trump’s actions and defenses on these fronts have again raised questions about his conduct.

Jim Braude was joined by Heather Cox Richardson, a political history professor at Boston College and author of, "To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party," and Middle East and North Africa consultant Nasser Weddady, who spent much of his childhood in Syria as son of the Mauritanian Ambassador.