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Impeachment Inquiries

November 15, 2019

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News Wrap: Mulvaney’s Ukraine comments prompt GOP criticism

In our news wrap Friday, President Trump is facing new criticism from Republicans over the issue that launched the impeachment inquiry. Rep. Francis Rooney of Florida said acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney cannot erase comments about tying military aid for Ukraine to an investigation of Democrats. Also, a bomb exploded in an eastern Afghanistan mosque, killing at least 62 during Friday prayers.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    In the day's other news: President Trump faced new concerns and discontent in Republican ranks over the issue that launched the impeachment inquiry. That is after acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged the president did tie military aid for Ukraine to an investigation of Democrats.

    Mulvaney later denied any quid pro quo.

    But, today, Republican Congressman Francis Rooney of Florida said that Mulvaney cannot simply erase his initial comments or, as he put it, "It's not an Etch A Sketch."

  • Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla.:

    Whatever might have been gray and unclear before is certainly quite clear right now, that the actions were related to getting some — the Ukraine to do some of these things.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Another prominent Republican, former Ohio Governor John Kasich, said today that he now supports impeachment.

    We will talk to him later in the program.

    Boeing is facing new questions about whether it was up front with federal safety regulators over the grounded 737 MAX aircraft. At issue are instant messages from a Boeing pilot who, in his words, lied unknowingly to officials about a new flight control system. That system is now linked with two crashes that killed 346 people.

    We will examine this in full later in the program.

    In Lebanon, thousands of protesters turned out for a second day, angry over a proposed tax hike and general economic chaos. Crowds in Beirut faced off with police, demanding the government resign. Later, the police fired tear gas and water cannon, as Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri appealed for reforms.

  • Prime Minister Saad Hariri (through translator):

    I personally gave myself a very short time for our partners in the government to give a clear and final answer that will convince those who are expressing their anger. All parties should make the decision to reform and to stop overspending and corruption.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Hariri said he was setting a deadline of 72 hours for his coalition partners to agree.

    More than half-a-million people marched in Barcelona, Spain, today demanding independence for Catalonia and freedom for jailed separatists. Vast crowds marched peacefully for the most part. But, later, a few hundred masked youth set trash containers on fire and threw rocks. Riot police fired back with rubber bullets.

    In Eastern Afghanistan, a bomb exploded in a mosque during Friday prayers, killing at least 62 worshipers. Hospitals in Nangarhar province scrambled to treat the wounded, including children. It underscored a U.N. report that Afghan civilians are dying in record numbers. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the bombing.

    Back in this country, the brother of the president of Honduras was convicted in New York on drug trafficking charges. Federal prosecutors said Juan Antonio Hernandez smuggled more than 200 tons of cocaine into the U.S. since 2010. His brother, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, was labeled a co-conspirator, but he wasn't charged.

    In Chicago, public school teachers walked picket lines for a second day. Schools stayed closed for more than 300,000 students in the country's third largest public school system. With more than 26,000 teachers on strike, union leaders reported some progress in negotiations.

    Mayor Lori Lightfoot said there needs to be more.

  • Lori Lightfoot:

    We put a fulsome, comprehensive offer on the table. And as I have said now for many weeks, they need to respond in kind with a comprehensive counteroffer.

    And we need to be at the table every single day, seven days a week, at least 10 hours a day, until we get a deal done.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Lightfoot said that the school district has offered a 16 percent raise for teachers over five years, plus smaller class sizes.

    Tropical Storm Nestor is threatening the Southeastern U.S. after forming in the Gulf of Mexico today. It is expected to make landfall early tomorrow near Mexico Beach, Florida, a town nearly destroyed by Hurricane Michael a year ago. This new storm could bring high winds, but it also promises several inches of rain in a region suffering from drought.

    President Trump said today that he will nominate Dan Brouillette to be the next secretary of energy. He is now deputy to Secretary Rick Perry, who plans to leave the post by year's end. Perry said today that his departure is not related to the Ukraine impeachment investigation, but his department formally rejected House subpoenas for documents.

    And on Wall Street, stocks closed out the week on a down note. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 255 points to close at 26770. The Nasdaq fell 67 points, and the S&P 500 slipped 11.

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