In our news wrap Tuesday, President Trump attacked the 16 states that have so far challenged his national emergency declaration in federal court. The president predicted he would win the legal battle and referred to the filing states as representing “the Radical Left.” Also, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), age 77, will again seek the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 2020.
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President Trump insisted today that he had, in his words, an absolute right to declare a national emergency, that after California and 15 other states challenged the declaration in federal court. They said diverting military funds to build a southern border wall will hurt their economies and military bases. Mr. Trump predicted that he will win the court fight.
In a tweet, he also attacked the 16 states, saying they are — quote — "led mostly by open border Democrats and the radical left."
Separately, the president today denied asking Matt Whitaker, who was then, acting attorney general, to have an ally run a key investigation. It involved hush money payments to women claiming affairs with Mr. Trump. The New York Times reports that the president asked for Geoffrey Berman, a federal prosecutor in New York, to run the investigation. Berman had previously recused himself from the case.
Mr. Trump today branded it as — quote — "fake news."
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will again seek the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. The 77-year-old independent formally announced today that he's joining the 2020 field. In interviews, he called again for Medicare for all, a higher minimum wage and free college tuition, just as he did in 2016.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.:
All of those ideas, people would say, oh, Bernie, they're so radical. They are extreme. The American people just won't accept those ideas.
Well, you know what's happened in over three years? All of those ideas and many more are now part of the political mainstream, and a majority of the American people now support them.
Sanders is the 12 threat major Democratic candidate to enter the race or to form an exploratory committee.
Longtime adviser to President Trump Roger Stone has been summoned back to federal court in Washington this week, and may have his bail revoked. Judge Amy Berman Jackson acted after Stone posted a photo of her with what looked like the crosshairs of a gun in one corner. Stone says he meant no threat. He was previously charged with lying to Congress, witness-tampering and obstruction in the Russia investigation.
There's word that White House officials tried to override national security concerns in 2017 to share nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia. The proposal never advanced, but Democrats on the House Oversight Committee opened an investigation today. They cited whistle-blower claims. Saudi Arabia is under scrutiny over the war in Yemen and the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In Kashmir, new tensions between nuclear rivals India and Pakistan are still running high. Last week, an attack in the Indian-controlled sector of the region left at least 40 soldiers dead. Today, India said it has killed the attack organizer. In turn, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan offered to hold talks, but he also warned India.
If you think that you will launch any kind of attack, then Pakistan will merely think about the retaliation. Pakistan will retaliate. And after that, where things will go, we all know.
In response, India's foreign minister criticized Khan and charged that his government has not done enough to fight terrorism in Kashmir.
Back in this country, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider a challenge to the scope of the 1972 Clean Water Act. At issue is whether the law regulates discharging wastewater into the ground. More than a dozen states asked the court to take the case.
Meanwhile, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg returned to the bench today. That is for the first time since having lung cancer surgery in December.
A new teacher's strike in West Virginia got quick results today. Teachers walked out this morning, opposing a bill to create charter schools and special savings accounts for private school tuition. Within hours, the state House killed the bill. A teachers strike in West Virginia last year led to similar job actions nationwide.
And Wall Street managed a modest advance. The Dow Jones industrial average gained eight points to close at 25891. The Nasdaq rose 14, and the S&P 500 added four.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": getting to the bottom of alleged ballot fraud in North Carolina; the widening gulf between the U.S. and European allies; a look at the tax plans of 2020 Democratic candidates; and much more.
It has been more than three months since Election Day, but voters in North Carolina's Ninth Congressional District still don't know who their congressman is.