In our Monday news wrap, President Trump is heading to Vietnam for his second summit with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, but he’s downplaying expectations around getting Kim to give up his country’s nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, House Democrats are trying to block the president’s national emergency declaration. Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, authored a resolution expected to be voted on Tuesday.
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President Trump is on his way to Vietnam tonight for his second summit with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un. The president left today for Hanoi.
But he has tried to play down expectations of breakthroughs on getting Kim to give up his country's nuclear weapons. The two leaders first met face to face last June in Singapore.
As the president left, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives prepared to try to block his national emergency declaration. The emergency would let Mr. Trump redirect federal money to construct a wall along the Mexican border.
Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro authored the Democrats' resolution, and he appealed today for support in tomorrow's vote.
Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas:
Today, we ask all members of Congress to respect the rule of law with us, to respect the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution and to support this resolution. If the president is successful in getting his way on this, rest assured, he will come back. He will try this again.
Meanwhile, 58 former national security officials issued a joint statement today, saying there is no factual basis for an emergency.
The U.S. has ramped up sanctions against Venezuela aimed at President Nicolas Maduro's allies. The targets are four state governors who blocked humanitarian aid convoys over the weekend. The sanctions came as Vice President Pence arrived in Colombia today. He met with President Duque and with Juan Guaido, the Venezuelan opposition leader. Pence promised $56 million in humanitarian aid to help Venezuela's neighbors handle a flood of refugees.
U.S. envoy Zalmay Khalilzad met today with a Taliban founder for the first time ahead of the latest peace talks on Afghanistan. Khalilzad and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar sat down in Doha, the capital of Qatar. A Taliban spokesman suggested that the meeting would produce results. Khalilzad tweeted that it could be — quote — "a significant moment."
Back in this country, howling winds blasted the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast today, knocking out power to thousands and grounding hundreds of flights. Hurricane-force wind gusts piled up mounds of ice along Lake Erie's shores. In Hamburg, New York, and elsewhere, the ice threatened lake-front homes.
In Providence, Pennsylvania, people woke up overnight to the sounds of trees crashing down on their homes.
We were sleeping in the house. We heard the wind. Then, all of a sudden, we heard a couple branches hit the back of the house, and then just this horrific boom. And you hear plaster all over the place, and woke up to find a tree coming through my closet about three feet off the floor of the bedroom.
Over the weekend, the same system touched off tornadoes in the South and triggered widespread flooding. Alabama declared an emergency.
A former Trump campaign staffer is suing the president, claiming that he kissed her without consent. Alva Johnson says it happened in Florida in August of 2016. She also points to at least a dozen similar claims against Mr. Trump. The White House says that Johnson's accusation is absurd, and that other campaign workers say it never happened.
R&B singer R. Kelly pleaded not guilty today to multiple charges of sexual abuse. His brief court appearance in Chicago followed his arrest Friday. He is accused of abusing four young women and girls, three of whom were under 18. Kelly spent the weekend in jail. He was released late today on $1 million bond.
The U.S. military academy West Point suspended classes today to address sexual assault and harassment. That's after a Pentagon survey found reports of assault and harassment had risen 50 percent since 2016. The one-day stand-down included talks to cadets and group discussions.
And on Wall Street, stocks managed only small gains, despite President Trump's move to delay new tariffs on imports from China. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 60 points to close near 26092. The Nasdaq rose almost 27 points. And the S&P 500 added three.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": survivors speak out over lack of action on sex abuse from Pope Francis; violent clashes in Venezuela over humanitarian aid; the Trump administration rolls back funding for clinics that provide abortions; and much more.