In our Thursday news wrap, the House passed a non-binding resolution to oppose the Trump administration’s ban on transgender people serving in the military. Democrats called the policy “targeted discrimination.” Also, reporting that special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings exceed 300 pages sparked fresh criticism of Attorney General William Barr, who summarized them in a four-page letter.
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The struggle over making the report by special counsel Robert Mueller public is intensifying. It was widely reported today that the document is more than 300 pages' long.
The disclosure brought fresh criticism of U.S. Attorney General William Barr. He issued a four-page letter summarizing some of the findings on Sunday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats said Barr's synopsis is grossly inadequate.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi D-Calif.:
No, thank you, Mr. Attorney General. We do not need your interpretation. Show us the report, and we can draw our own conclusions. We don't need you interpreting for us. It was condescending. It was arrogant. And it wasn't the right thing to do.
Barr says he will release at least a partial version of the report next month, but not by this Tuesday, as Democrats have demanded.
Meanwhile, President Trump demanded that House Intelligence Committee chair, Democrat Adam Schiff, resign for claiming that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. According to Barr's summary, the Mueller report found no collusion.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, along with nine Republicans on the Intelligence Committee, joined the president's call today.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy R-Calif.:
The idea that you would have a chairman of a committee of this nature, the work that is involved in this committee, that would lie to the American public, not apologize, but use the tactics of Senator Joe McCarthy to attack his own members, there is nothing that can come from this committee that can be trusted.
But Schiff stood by his past remarks today, citing a list of meetings between members of the Trump circle and Russians. And House Speaker Pelosi defended Schiff as — quote — "a patriotic leader."
A small tanker ship that was hijacked by migrants off Libya has docked safely in Malta, and five ringleaders have been arrested. The vessel initially picked up 108 migrants with plans to take them back to Libya. But some in the group seized control of the ship and tried to force it to go to Europe. Maltese Special Forces took back control of the ship today and guided it to port.
In Saudi Arabia, three women's rights activists are now free, temporarily, after 10 months in prison. The Associated Press reports that they were let go a day after nearly a dozen women appeared in court. They spoke of being physically and sexually abused by interrogators. The activists have pushed for the right to drive and other freedoms.
Back in this country, the U.S. House voted today to oppose the Trump administration's ban on transgender people serving in the military. The nonbinding resolution passed along party lines. Democrats called the policy targeted discrimination. Republicans said that today's vote was really about sending campaign messages.
They argued it out on the House floor.
Rep. Joe Kennedy D-Mass.:
This House has a chance to not repeat the mistakes of our past, to move one step closer to that sacred promise, by telling brave trans men and women in uniform that they cannot be banned from military service because of who they are.
Rep. Mac Thornberry R-Texas:
If we were to really be discussing the substance of the issue, rather than a messaging bill, then we could talk about the high standards for military service without special accommodation, and there would be a substantive discussion. That's not what we're doing today.
The administration's policy bars people who have undergone gender transition from enlisting in the military. Those already in the ranks must serve in their original biological gender. The policy is being challenged in court.
President Trump says that he is backing off his budget request to cut federal funding for the Special Olympics. The proposal drew heavy criticism on social media from Democrats and from some top Republicans. The U.S. Education Department made the same proposal in the two previous budget years, but they both died in Congress.
The California Horse Racing Board voted today to limit the use of whips in racing statewide. That follows the deaths of 22 horses at Santa Anita Park. Jockeys argued that whips had nothing to do with the deaths. After public comment, the board must vote again before the measure takes effect.
The CEO of Wells Fargo, Tim Sloan, is stepping down after a tumultuous tenure. He took control in 2016 amid revelations that employees had opened millions of bank accounts, fraudulently, in order to meet sales goals. Sloan vowed to clean things up, but more scandals erupted, and Wells Fargo incurred stiff federal penalties.
And the U.S. Commerce Department has cut its estimate of growth at the end of 2018 to an annual rate of just 2.2 percent. Initially, it was 2.6 percent.
Despite that, Wall Street managed modest gains. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 91 points to close at 25717. The Nasdaq rose 25 points, and the S&P 500 added 10.
Still come on the "NewsHour": law enforcement struggles with the growing number of migrant families at the U.S. southern border; what happens once peace is achieved in Afghanistan; the lawsuits against opioid-producing drug companies; and much more.