Mornings on the Mall
Monday, December 2, 2019
Hosts: Mary Walter and Vince Coglianese
Executive Producer: Heather Hunter
Joe diGenova, Trevor Matich, Corey Stewart and Raheem Kassam joined WMAL on Monday!
5am – A/B/C IMPEACHMENT NEWS:
- White House won’t take part in first House Judiciary impeachment hearing. The White House informed House Democrats on Sunday that it will not participate in the Judiciary Committee’s first impeachment hearing. The decision indicates that President Donald Trump has listened to his allies and some congressional Republicans who argued that a White House presence at the hearing would validate a process they have harangued as illegitimate and partisan.
- Impeachment Fight at Home Hangs Over Trump’s NATO Trip. President heads to London eager to lead on foreign policy as he faces serious domestic challenge.
- Upcoming hearing this week: House Judiciary Cmte will have its first impeachment inquiry hearing for Wednesday, Dec. 4. Chairman Nadler sent a letter to President Trump inviting him to participate.
- Rep. Doug Collins: Adam Schiff will be first witness called by House Judiciary GOP. Rep. Doug Collins said Sunday that Republicans plan to call witnesses when the House Judiciary Committee takes up the impeachment case against President Trump. Their number-one witness? House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who is drafting a report that will form the factual basis for the judiciary panel’s look at whether Mr. Trump should be impeached on allegations he sought political favors from Ukraine as a precondition for military aid.
- House Intelligence Committee to review impeachment investigation report Monday. The House Intelligence Committee will begin reviewing a report Monday on its investigation into President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, a committee official confirmed to The Hill. The committee is then expected to consider and adopt the report Tuesday evening. The report and any minority views will be sent to the House Judiciary Committee, which could draft articles of impeachment against the president in the next few weeks, according to Politico.
5am – D Cheesed-off liberals attack wrong Whole Foods after Mitch McConnell honored. (By Valerie Richardson – The Washington Times) — The upscale liberal shoppers who frequent Whole Foods Market were plenty crabby after Senate Mitch McConnell was honored as “Person of the Year” by WholeFoods magazine. As it turns out, however, the magazine serving the “natural products industry” has no connection to the supermarket giant known for its organic meats and produce. Whole Foods — the market, not the magazine — spent the Thanksgiving holiday weekend explaining the difference on social media to irate consumers steamed by the McConnell honor. “Thanks for reaching out,” said the organic grocer in myriad responses on Twitter. “Whole Foods Market is not affiliated with this publication.” Tempers boiled over Friday after Mr. McConnell posted the cover photo from WholeFoods magazine showing that he had been named “2019 Person of the Year” for his contributions to the hemp industry. Tempers boiled over Friday after Mr. McConnell posted the cover photo from WholeFoods magazine showing that he had been named “2019 Person of the Year” for his contributions to the hemp industry.
“I was recognized as the most influential person in the natural products industry, specifically because of my work to legalize industrial #hemp for farmers in Kentucky and around the country,” Mr. McConnell tweeted. A few tweeters offered congratulations, but many more were unable to stomach the idea of the Republican leader receiving such an accolade and vowed to stop shopping at Whole Foods. Responses included, “We’re done with you,” “I won’t shop @WholeFoods anymore,” “I don’t understand why Whole Foods magazine would choose to associate #MoscowMitch with their brand,” and “Can’t tell if this is a parody or not.” The hashtag #BoycottWholeFoods cropped on Twitter, with one disgruntled shopper tweeting, “Now let’s drown Whole Foods with a blue wave boycott.” Legal Insurrection’s Mary Chastain chided the McConnell haters for failing to do their homework. “Did people bother to read any of the articles?” she asked in a post. “Did they even bother to realize that the magazine is called WholeFoods instead of Whole Foods? Yes, it’s one word instead of two words. Of course they did not because outrage.” The article in WholeFoods — the magazine, not the market — called Mr. McConnell a “hemp hero” and praised his leadership in ending the “hemp prohibition.”
5am – E Ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page breaks silence, saying Trump’s ‘fake orgasm’ forced her to speak out. “Honestly, his demeaning fake orgasm was really the straw that broke the camel’s back.” With those striking words in an interview published late Sunday, Lisa Page, the ex-FBI lawyer who carried on an extramarital affair with former FBI head of counterintelligence Peter Strzok as the two exchanged anti-Trump text messages, said she was breaking her silence. Page was referring to Trump’s comments about her and Strzok at an October rally. During the event, Trump performed a passionate, dramatic reading of Strzok and Page’s August 2016 text messages, including Strzok’s conspicuous promise to Page that “we’ll stop” Trump from becoming president. (Conservative commentators have disputed that Trump was mimicking an orgasm.) At the time, Strzok was overseeing the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the probe into the Trump campaign. Page spoke exclusively to The Daily Beast in a highly sympathetic profile authored by Molly Jong-Fast, who called Strzok “hawt” in a tweet last year. The interview comes before a widely anticipated new report from DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz into possible FBI misconduct is expected to be released Dec. 9.
6am – A/B/C Wexton bill would use credit card data to track firearms purchases. (Washington Post) — Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) wants banks and credit card companies to flag purchases that could signal a person is preparing to carry out a mass shooting, a solution she said could circumvent the usual partisan debate on gun violence. She introduced a bill this month that would direct an agency of the Treasury Department to figure out how to track buying patterns the same way the government looks for behavior indicative of money laundering, fentanyl trafficking and human smuggling. Supporters of the legislation say it builds on existing infrastructure and harnesses law enforcement expertise to try to prevent gun violence without preemptively removing guns or further regulating sales — both non-starters among Second Amendment advocates. But skeptics say that even if credit card companies, banks and retailers agree to work together to disclose detailed information about sales, the federal government would need a system for analyzing huge amounts of data and deciding when and how to respond. An effective program would have to track credit card purchases of guns and ammunition as well as equipment such as body armor and night-vision goggles across multiple retailers. “Banks, credit card companies and retailers have unique insight into the behavior and purchasing patterns that can help identify and prevent mass shootings,” said Wexton, whose plan has the backing of Everytown for Gun Safety, a national gun-control organization. “The red flags are there — someone just needs to be paying attention.” Wexton, a freshman lawmaker and former prosecutor from Loudoun County, made gun violence a centerpiece of her 2018 campaign. Four Republicans are running for the nomination to challenge her next year. Gun policy was the top issue for Virginia voters a month before the Nov. 5 state election that gave Democrats control of the House of Delegates and Senate for the first time in a generation, according to a Washington Post-Schar School poll.
6am – D ISIS TERROR ATTACK IN LONDON:
- Police shoot man dead who killed two in terrorist knife attack on London Bridge. (Washington Examiner) — Gunshots have been fired on the London Bridge while London’s Metropolitan Police Service announced that officers were “in the early stages of dealing with an incident at London Bridge.” Five people were injured by a man wielding a knife who was later shot and killed by armed police officers on the bridge, which had been evacuated. A Metropolitan Police spokesman said, “Police were called at 1.58pm to a stabbing at premises near to London Bridge. Emergency services attended, including officers from the Met and City of London Police. A man has been detained by police. We believe a number of people have been injured. Further info to follow.” Police are categorizing the attack as a terror-related incident, which left two civilians dead according to the BBC, however they are unclear about the attacker’s motivation. The attacker also wore a hoax explosive vest.
- London Bridge stabbing suspect Usman Khan plotted to attack London Stock Exchange in 2010. Police said Khan was convicted in 2012 of terrorism offenses and released in December 2018 “on license,” which means he had to meet certain conditions or face recall to prison. Several British media outlets reported that he was wearing an electronic ankle bracelet that allowed police to track his movements at the time of the attack. Authorities seemed quick to blame “the system” rather than any one component. The Parole Board said it had played no role in Khan’s early release. It said the convict “appears to have been released automatically on license (as required by law), without ever being referred to the board.” Neil Basu, the Metropolitan Police counterterrorism police, said Saturday afternoon that the conditions of Khan’s release had been complied with. He didn’t spell out what those conditions were or why they failed to prevent him from killing two people. The automatic release program apparently means no agency was given the task of determining if Khan still believed in radical views he had embraced when he was first imprisoned for plotting to attack a number of sites and individuals in London. It is not yet known whether he took part in any of the “de-radicalization” programs used by British authorities to try and reform known jihadis. The former head of Britain’s National Counter Terrorism Security Office, Chris Phillips, said it is unreasonable to ask police and security services to keep the country safe while at the same time letting people out of prison when they are still a threat.
- ISIS claims London Bridge stabber as one of its fighters.
- Johnson reveals 74 other criminals were released on similar charges to London Bridge attacker
6am – E Hallmark Channel Holiday Movies Under Fire From The Diversity Police: A manufactured controversy has developed at the hands of the LGBTQ community, as well as the racial diversity police. […] The Hollywood Reporter ran a story last week on the Hallmark Channel. The focus was on how white and heterosexual the network’s movies are, essentially. This year there will be 24 original holiday movies broadcast. The holiday movie tradition began in 2009. The number of black leads in those 24 movies, for example, this year is four. Last year, there were five black leads in holiday movies. […] At lgbtqnation.com on Friday, an opinion piece was published that asked both Hallmark and Lifetime when LGBTQ characters would be leads in the holiday romance movies.
6am – F Kamala Harris’s top aide QUITS and says she has ‘never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly’ in her resignation letter as she moves to join Mike Bloomberg’s campaign. (Daily Mail) — A top aide to Democratic presidential hopeful Kamala Harris who stepped down to work for rival Mike Bloomberg left behind a resignation letter with a stinging critique of her former boss’ campaign. ‘This is my third presidential campaign and I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly,’ wrote Kelly Mehlenbacher in the November 11 letter obtained by the New York Times. The letter came after the once promising campaign announced last-minute layoffs of staff in early November, reports the Times. Furious staffers, including Mehlenbacher, had questions about moving forward, but Harris’ campaign manager Juan Rodriguez addressed concerns with general , unsatisfying answers, according to two campaign officials who spoke with the Times. The sentiments of the furious staffers was reflected in Mehlenbacher’s resignation letter, which came just days later. ‘With less than 90 days until Iowa we still do not have a real plan to win’, wrote the former state operations director, who quit to join Bloomberg’s, campaign. She and other of Harris’ aides and supporters have gone nuclear on her sinking presidential campaign as her star power in the Democratic 2020 primary has faded. Harris’ presidential campaign, which has dropped to low single digitals in the polls and struggled with raising the money needed to support her bid, was subject to back-to-back political obituaries in The New York Times and Washington Post on Friday. Harris, who was seen as a promising early contender to take on President Donald Trump next year, has struggled to come up with a consistent campaign message and strategy.
7am – A/B/C INTERVIEW – JOE DIGENOVA – legal analyst and former US Attorney to The District of Columbia – discussed the continued impeachment push this week.
7am – D INTERVIEW – TREVOR MATICH – WMAL’s Redskins Analyst – recapped the key moments from the Redskins’ 29-21 win over the Panthers.
- The Redskins overcame a 14-0 first quarter deficit and handed the Panthers their fourth consecutive loss. Washington has won two straight for the first time since October of last season.
- Washington’s defense had seven sacks, including one on fourth and goal after the Panthers recovered an onside kick to begin their final desperation drive.
- Derrius Guice had 129 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Adrian Peterson had 99 yards rushing and a touchdown. The – Redskins came into the game with two rushing touchdowns all season.Washington’s 29 points were its most in a game this year.
7am – E Newsweek fires reporter who claimed Trump would be spending Thanksgiving ‘tweeting, golfing and more’ (Daily Mail) — Newsweek has fired a political reporter whose story claimed Donald Trump would be spending Thanksgiving ‘tweeting, golfing and more’ – before the president spent the day serving turkey dinners to US troops in Afghanistan. A story by political reporter Jessica Kwong was published on Thursday morning with the initial headline: ‘How is Trump spending Thanksgiving? Tweeting, golfing and more.’ But the president made an unannounced visit to Afghanistan to greet US troops and meet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to discuss reopening talks with the Taliban. The president’s son Don Jr. slammed her coverage as ‘fake news’. But Kwong claimed it has been an ‘honest mistake’, and said she had submitted the story in advance before the trip was announced. Deleting one of her tweets, she wrote: ‘Deleting this tweet because it was written before knowing about the president’s surprise visit to Afghanistan-an honest mistake. Story has already been updated, as shown in the screenshot.’ Her story’s headline was updated to read: ‘How is Trump spending Thanksgiving? Tweeting, golfing — and surprising U.S. troops in Afghanistan.’ A note at the end of the story read: ‘This story has been substantially updated and edited at 6:17 p.m. EST to reflect the president’s surprise trip to Afghanistan. Additional reporting by James Crowley.’ Kwong told The Washington Examiner she has been told to write about what Trump would be doing for Thanksgiving. When it was apparent he had made the trip to Afghanistan Kwong says the editor had a new article written – but her original was not updated. But Don Jr. replied: ‘It wasn’t an “honest mistake” you tried to dunk on Trump and ended up dunking on yourself because you couldn’t resist.
8am – A INTERVIEW – COREY STEWART – at-large Chair of the Board of Supervisors of Prince William County, Virginia
Gun rights activists ask county board to declare county a ‘Second Amendment sanctuary.’ (Prince William Times) — About 70 gun-rights activists attended Tuesday’s Prince William Board of Supervisors’ meeting to ask the board to declare the county a “Second Amendment sanctuary.” But supervisors appeared reluctant to take up the cause. County residents lined up to ask the board to consider such a resolution, saying gun reforms proposed by state lawmakers ahead of the 2020 General Assembly session, such as universal background checks, extreme risk protective orders and a ban on assault weapons, would violate their constitutional rights. Democratic lawmakers, who will take majority control of the both the House of Delegates and state Senate in 2020, have made such gun reforms a centerpiece of their legislative agenda next year. The “Second Amendment sanctuary” resolution, which has already been passed by more than 15 Virginia localities, would not exempt county residents from following new state gun laws, however. The resolution would only ensure that local funds not be used to restrict Second Amendment rights. After more than an hour of public testimony, supervisors briefly discussed the possibility of scheduling a public hearing on a potential resolution before ending the meeting. Board Chairman Corey Stewart, R-At Large, said at least one supervisor would have to carry the resolution for it to move forward, but it wasn’t clear if any supervisors planned to take it up. If the resolution is proposed, Stewart recommended holding a public hearing during the 7:30 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 10, the board’s final meeting of the year before the new board takes over in January 2020.
8am – B/C UNSURFACED VIDEO: Joe Biden leaves many grossed out with odd story about his leg hair: Former Vice President Joe Biden said in a 2017 speech he allowed children to play with his wet leg hair as a lifeguard, according to resurfaced video footage. The former vice president spoke on June 26, 2017 at the Joseph R. Biden Jr. Aquatic Center dedication in Delaware, according to a video WITN Channel 22 posted Sept. 17. The video shows Biden, surrounded by children, detailing the lessons he learned from the black community in the area surrounding the aquatic center. Biden also described allowing children to rub his blonde leg hair while it was wet when he worked as a lifeguard.
8am – D INTERVIEW – RAHEEM KASSAM – author of “No Go Zones: How Sharia Law Is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You” (published 2017), former chief adviser to former UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, Co-Host of War Room 2020 podcast and Fellow at American Principles Project
- ISIS claims London Bridge stabber as one of its fighters
- Police shoot man dead who killed two in terrorist knife attack on London Bridge.
- London Bridge stabbing suspect Usman Khan plotted to attack London Stock Exchange in 2010.
8am – E TERRIBLE THANKSGIVING COMMUTE BACK TO D.C.:
- YESTERDAY: Heavy fog may have contributed to a nearly 60-car pileup that snarled holiday traffic on an interstate highway in western Maryland. Police say heavy fog may have helped cause a nearly 60-car pileup that snarled holiday traffic on an interstate highway in western Maryland. Maryland State Police say there were 58 vehicles involved in 29 separate collisions Sunday on westbound Interstate 68. Police say 10 people were taken to a local hospital with injuries, none of them life-threatening.
- Yesterday: Sunday Traffic: Miles-Long Traffic Jam to Westbound Bay Bridge. A line of traffic stretched for about 14 miles on Route 50 toward the westbound Bay Bridge on Sunday as Thanksgiving travelers made their way home. As of about 5:45 p.m., the backup was down to 6.5 miles approaching the bridge. Rain and construction contributed to the extensive delays. The right westbound lane was closed for repair work. The Maryland Transportation Authority told drivers headed back toward the Washington, D.C., area from the Eastern Shore on Route 50 to consider traveling during off-peak hours to avoid such delays. Off-peak hours for westbound travelers were from 9 p.m. Sunday to 5 a.m. Monday, and then after 2 p.m. on Monday.