Mornings on the Mall 08.26.19 / Joe diGenova, KT McFarland, Newt Gingrich, Ken Cuccinelli

Joe diGenova, KT McFarland, Newt Gingrich and Ken Cuccinelli joined WMAL on Monday morning!

Mornings on the Mall

Monday, August 26, 2019

Hosts: Mary Walter and Vince Coglianese

Executive Producer: Heather Hunter


5am – A/B/C Do You Think Biden, Warren and Sanders Will Be The Final Three?

  • Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts drops out of presidential race after failing to break through in a crowded Democratic field. “It’s evident now that this is essentially a three-way race” among Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), he continued. Moulton went on to express concerns that the Democratic primary “veering too far left could lose us this election,” citing health care in particular.

5am – D         G7 News Highlights:

    • China announces it seeks ‘calm’ end to trade war, as markets tank and currency hits 11-year flatline.
    • Trump says China wants to restart trade talks during a meeting with Egypt’s President at G7 Summit. Trump on trade war: China wants to negotiate and we will be ‘getting back to the table.’ “China called last night our top trade people and said let’s get back to the table.”
    • Macron Invites Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to G-7 Sidelines. Unclear if U.S. knew in advance.
    • Nikki Haley @NikkiHaley: This is completely disrespectful to @realDonaldTrump  and the other leaders at the G7. Iran supports terrorism at every turn and continues to pursue “Death to America”. Manipulative of Macron to do this and very insincere. #NotWhatFriendsDo
    • SUNDAY: CNN: Trump official calls Zarif’s G7 appearance a ‘curveball.’ President Donald Trump said he had “no comment” after Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif made an unexpected arrival at the G7 summit to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron.
    • MONDAY: Update: Trump: Macron asked me if he can invite Zarif to G7
  • G7 / JAPAN: US, Japan announce preliminary trade deal worth ‘billions.’ Trump says Japan trade deal reached, but Abe warns more work remains


  • Former congressman Joe Walsh announces primary challenge against Trump. (Washington Post) – Former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh announced Sunday that he will challenge President Trump in the 2020 primary, becoming the second Republican to wage a bid against the president. Walsh, a talk-radio host, was elected to Congress in 2010 as part of the tea party wave and served one term. He has described himself as an immigration hard-liner and said he would not challenge Trump from the center but from the right and on moral grounds. “I’m going to run for president,” Walsh said Sunday in an interview on ABC News’s “This Week,” charging that the president is “incompetent,” “a bigot” and “a narcissist.” Former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld also has declared that he is running against Trump in the Republican primary, but he has struggled to gain traction. Asked about Walsh’s entry into the race, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh replied, “Whatever.” Weld, meanwhile, welcomed Walsh’s arrival, saying he was “thrilled” by the news. “I think that’s terrific,” he said on NBC News’s “Meet the Press.” “And it’s going to be a more robust conversation. Who knows? The networks might even cover Republican primary debates.”
  • Former Republican Rep. Joe Walsh will primary Trump: “I’m going to run for president.” “No surprise: We’ve got a guy in the White House who is unfit, completely unfit to be president and it stuns me that nobody stepped up.” Via ABC
  • “Do you really believe he is a Muslim?” Stephanopoulos asks Joe Walsh about his attacks and false claims about Pres. Barack Obama. Walsh: “God, no! And I’ve apologized for that … we have a guy in the White House who has never apologized for anything”
  • Meet the Press: GOP Presidential challenger Bill Weld: “I’m thrilled about Joe Walsh and Mark Sanford getting in” the 2020 Republican race.



  • At a town hall, Biden evoked two of his political heroes, Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. Both were assassinated in 1968, Kennedy while running for president. Joe Biden had an odd, and jarring, rhetorical question for voters at a New Hampshire town hall Friday.
  • 2020 Democratic presidential candidate BIDEN: “My senior semester, they [Kennedy and King] were both shot and killed. Imagine what would have happened if, God forbid, if Barack Obama had been assassinated after becoming the de facto nominee. What would’ve happened in America?”
  • Biden then goes on to say 40 were shot at Kent State in 1970, when four students were killed
  • NOTE: Politico refers to it as a “strange” and “out-of-nowhere” comment “at the tail-end of an otherwise normal speech,” while the New York Post calls it simply “awkward.”
  • FLASHBACK: TUESDAY: Last week in Iowa: Not only does Joe Biden falsely say that Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. were “assassinated in the ‘70s, late 70” when both men were assassinated in 1968, he says “none of you women would know” about activism in the 1960s.
  • Joe Biden Forgets Which State He’s In During New Hampshire Campaign Stop.  Biden in Keene, New Hampshire: “I’ve been here a number of times…I love this place. Look, what’s not to like about Vermont in terms of the beauty of it?”
  • BIDEN’S ‘NOT QUALITY’ HEALTH CARE: Biden Makes Disastrous Gaffes While Speaking On Healthcare. Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden repeatedly fumbled over himself on Friday while attempting to talk to a crowd about his healthcare plan, saying that he would make sure that it was “not quality” and ensuring people that their premiums would go up.  Biden in Hanover, New Hampshire on his health care plan: “We’ll make sure it’s not quality. We’ll make sure it’s only affordable.”
  • Biden’s gaffes continue: “for folks in the working class … they will in fact will increase their premiums”
  • VP DURING PARKLAND: FLASHBACK: Joe Biden thinks he was still in the Obama White House as Vice President in 2018: “I watched what happened when the kids from Parkland marched … when I was Vice President”

6am – D         Psychiatrist on CNN: Trump May Be Responsible for Millions of More Deaths Than Hitler, Stalin, Mao. (Breitbart) – Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” psychiatrist Dr. Allen Frances said President Donald Trump “may be responsible for many more million deaths” than Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, and Mao Zedong. Frances said, “I’ve known thousands of patients, almost all of them have been well-behaved well-mannered good people. Trump is none of these. Lumping the mentally ill with is a terrible insult and they have enough problems and stigma it is. Calling Trump crazy hides the fact that we’re crazy for having elected him and even crazier for allowing his crazy policies to persist.” He added, “Trump is as destructive a person in this century as Hitler, Stalin, and Mao were in the last century. He may be responsible for many more million deaths than they were. He needs to be contained but he needs to be contained by attacking his policies, not his person. It’s crazy for us to be destroying the climate our children will live in. It’s crazy to be giving tax cuts to the rich that will add trillions of dollars to the debt our children will have to pay. It’s crazy to be destroying our democracy by claiming that the press and the courts of the enemy of the people. We have to face these policies not Trump’s person. Now it’s absolutely impossible, you can bet the House, that the Congress, that Pence, that the cabinet will never ever remove Trump on grounds of mental unfitness. That will never happen. Discussing the issue in psychological name-calling terms distracts us from getting out to vote.” Update: Stelter tweeted regret for not challenging the comments by claiming he did hear Frances. Brian Stelter @brianstelter I agree that I should have interrupted after that line. I wish I had heard him say it, but I was distracted by tech difficulties (that’s why the show open didn’t look the way it normally does, I had two computers at the table, etc). Not hearing the comment is my fault. 12:48 PM – Aug 25, 2019

6am – E         WASHINGTON POST Editorial: Building shelters in D.C. would help migrants, not hurt them.  MANY AMERICANS are rightly outraged by the Trump administration’s treatment of migrant children, who have been separated from parents and ill-treated by authorities. Democrats have been understandably eager to distance themselves from such policies — a stance that can result in knee-jerk opposition even to sensible practices in effect during the Obama administration… But local politicians, nearly all Democrats, have balked at cooperating with federal authorities on any immigration matter. They have denounced the proposed new shelters with objections that smack of NIMBYism masquerading as humane concern for children. This month, the administration of D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) enacted emergency rules that blocked a planned federal shelter. There are currently some 8,700 minors, mainly teenagers, housed in about 170 such shelters nationwide. For most, the stay in those facilities is relatively brief — on average, a little more than six weeks, until the Office of Refugee Resettlement, an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, places them with relatives or foster families. Those facilities had insufficient beds to handle the surge of unaccompanied minors who crossed the border earlier this year, hence the appalling images of children stuck in jam-packed Border Patrol outposts and emergency detention centers. By building new shelters, the government would add future capacity to avoid such bottlenecks and terrible conditions in the event of another spike in border crossings. That’s smart. So why the objections from local leaders, including Ms. Bowser and the top elected leaders in suburban Fairfax and Loudoun counties? The answer seems at least partly to be political optics; by cooperating in any way with the administration’s immigration moves, they might fear being seen as complicit…”

6am – F         Taylor Swift: I Regret Not Endorsing Hillary Clinton But Will Do ‘Everything I Can for 2020’ (Breitbart/TheGuardian) — Pop superstar Taylor Swift has admitted she is “very remorseful” about her refusal to get involved in the 2016 presidential election, but has pledged to “do everything I can for 2020” to promote progressive candidates and public policy. The 29-year-old singer came under criticism for refusing to take sides in the 2016 presidential race, leading many to falsely believe she was a Republican. “I was just trying to protect my mental health — not read the news very much, go cast my vote, tell people to vote,” Taylor Swift said in an interview with The Guardian published Friday. “I just knew what I could handle and I knew what I couldn’t. I was literally about to break.” The Grammy-winner went on to say that her perceived negative public image at the time made her feel “just useless” and more a “like a hindrance.” However, she now feels “really remorseful for not saying anything” and confirmed she would have endorsed Hillary Clinton. When asked about efforts by Tennesee lawmakers to restrict access to abortion services, Swift confirmed she was pro-choice and would “do everything I can for 2020.” Swift made similar comments in an interview with Vogue earlier this month, admitting she feared that it would not help her and the media would portray the pair as “the two nasty women.” “Unfortunately in the 2016 election, you had a political opponent who was weaponizing the idea of the celebrity endorsement. He was going around saying, I’m a man of the people. I’m for you. I care about you. I just knew I wasn’t going to help,” she said at the time. “Also, you know, the summer before that election, all people were saying was She’s calculated. She’s manipulative. She’s not what she seems. She’s a snake. She’s a liar,” she continued. “These are the same exact insults people were hurling at Hillary.”

7am – A/B/C INTERVIEW – JOE DIGENOVA – former U.S. Attorney to the District of Columbia and WMAL legal analyst

  • CNN Hires Andrew McCabe As A Contributor. CNN is bringing on former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe as a contributor, the network announced Friday morning. CNN senior media reporter Oliver Darcy announced the move on his Twitter account.  Oliver Darcy @oliverdarcy: Some news: CNN announces Andrew McCabe has been signed as a contributor.
  • CNN Panelist Defends Network Hiring Andrew McCabe, Says He Will Provide ‘Serious Expertise.’ A CNN panel Sunday defended the network hiring a former FBI deputy director who was fired for lying to the bureau regarding leaks to the media while criticizing two competing networks for recently hiring former White House press secretaries. Brian Stelter, the host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” led a discussion with contributors Irin Carmon and Daniel Dale about the personnel decisions

7am – D         INTERVIEW – KT MCFARLAND – Former Deputy National Security Adviser for President Trump and she also worked in Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations. KT analyzed the diplomatic chess playing at the G-7.


  • AXIOS: Scoop: Trump suggested nuking hurricanes to stop them from hitting U.S. President Trump has suggested multiple times to senior Homeland Security and national security officials that they explore using nuclear bombs to stop hurricanes from hitting the United States, according to sources who have heard the president’s private remarks and been briefed on a National Security Council memorandum that recorded those comments. Behind the scenes: During one hurricane briefing at the White House, Trump said, “I got it. I got it. Why don’t we nuke them?” according to one source who was there. “They start forming off the coast of Africa, as they’re moving across the Atlantic, we drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it. Why can’t we do that?” the source added, paraphrasing the president’s remarks. Asked how the briefer reacted, the source recalled he said something to the effect of, “Sir, we’ll look into that.” Trump replied by asking incredulously how many hurricanes the U.S. could handle and reiterating his suggestion that the government intervene before they make landfall.  The briefer “was knocked back on his heels,” the source in the room added. “You could hear a gnat fart in that meeting. People were astonished. After the meeting ended, we thought, ‘What the f—? What do we do with this?'”
  • Early Monday, Trump denied ever pushing for the use of nuclear bombs against hurricanes, tweeting that the Axios story was “ridiculous” and “Just more FAKE NEWS!” Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump: The story by Axios that President Trump wanted to blow up large hurricanes with nuclear weapons prior to reaching shore is ridiculous. I never said this. Just more FAKE NEWS! 5:25 AM – Aug 26, 2019

8am – A         INTERVIEW – NEWT GINGRICH – former Speaker of the House and host of The “Newt’s World” podcast

  • You can subscribe to Newt’s newsletter and his “Newt’s World” podcast at
  • Newt Gingrich Pushing $2 Billion Moon-Base Race: Report. Newt Gingrich still has big moon dreams. The former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives made headlines during his 2012 presidential run by promising to get a lunar colony up and running by 2020 if elected. And now Gingrich is trying to sell Donald Trump’s White House on a $2 billion competition to set up a crewed outpost on Earth’s nearest neighbor, according to Politico.  “The proposal, whose other proponents range from an Air Force lieutenant general to the former publicist for pop stars Michael Jackson and Prince, includes a $2 billion sweepstakes pitting billionaires Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and other space pioneers against each other to see who can establish and run the first lunar base, according to a summary of the plan shared with Politico,” Politico reported on Monday (Aug. 19).  “Backers of the novel approach have briefed administration officials serving on the National Space Council, several members of the group confirmed, though they declined to provide specifics of the internal conversations,” the outlet added. The companies run by Musk and Bezos — SpaceX and Blue Origin, respectively — would be the front runners to bag the $2 billion if the contest graduates from concept to reality, for both are already developing hardware to help establish off-Earth outposts.  SpaceX is building a 100-passenger spaceship called Starship and a huge rocket called Super Heavy, which could start flying missions as early as 2021. And Blue Origin recently unveiled its Blue Moon lunar lander, which will launch atop the company’s big New Glenn rocket. So, it’s not too surprising that Musk is a fan of Gingrich’s plan. “This is a great idea,” Musk said via Twitter on Monday. NASA already has plans to set up a crewed moon outpost. That’s one of the chief goals of the agency’s Artemis program, which aims to land two astronauts near the lunar south pole by 2024 and establish a long-term, sustainable presence on and around the moon shortly thereafter. But it will doubtless cost NASA considerably more than $2 billion to make all of that happen.

8am – B/C     April Ryan breaks silence: Bodyguard ‘overreacted’ when pushing out reporter. (Washington Examiner: Sunday on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” network political analyst April Ryan discussed her former bodyguard allegedly assaulting Charlie Kratovil, founder and editor of New Brunswick Today at a speaking event. Ryan said, “Anyone who knows me knows that I’m the first person who wants to get a story out be it on tv or radio, and the only reason why I’ve been quiet is because of threat of lawsuits, and my attorney said I can speak but here is the thing, this is not about suppressing the press. My body of work stands for me. And no, I did not order anyone to do anything. At that moment, what you saw was my then bodyguard, who was concerned with my safety come to me and say stop talking. They were about 100 feet away from me. I didn’t know what was going on or said. I was on stage at the time.”

  • LAST WEEK: Bodyguard for CNN’s April Ryan charged with assault for forcibly removing journalist from event

8am – D         INTERVIEW – KEN CUCCINELLI – the acting director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

  • New rule gives Trump administration more discretion to change asylum law. (Washington Post) – The Trump administration on Friday issued a new rule that gives more power to the director of the agency that oversees the nation’s immigration courts, a move that attorneys say will make it easier to reject immigrants’ appeals to court decisions. The change, part of a reorganization of the Executive Office for Immigration Review, is the latest in a series of minute policy changes that immigration advocates say are chipping away at routes through which a foreign national can seek refuge in the United States.
  • AG William Barr promotes immigration judges with high asylum denial rates. WASHINGTON — The Trump administration has promoted six judges to the immigration appeals court that sets binding policy for deportation cases — all of whom have high rates of denying immigrants’ asylum claims.
  • Trump immigration official says new rule detaining families indefinitely is a ‘deterrent.’ Washington (CNN) Trump immigration official Ken Cuccinelli is defending the Trump administration’s proposed changes to the Flores settlement agreement that would allow undocumented families to be detained together indefinitely, saying the new proposal is meant to deter migrants from wanting to cross the US-Mexico border. “This is a deterrent, because they know that instead of rushing the border, which is what’s been going on for a number of years now, by using the massive numbers coming to the border and overwhelming our facilities and our capacity to hold folks and our court rulings, which is what the Flores rule was, that now they can and will to the extent we’re able to do so, hold them until those hearings happen,” Cuccinelli, the acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, said in an interview Friday with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota on “New Day.”
  • Cuccinelli toured the southwest border and met with officials from his agency, ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP), has thrust the agency into national attention since being appointed acting director in June. The agency was in the spotlight last week with the rollout of the “public charge” rule, giving officials updated guidance as to when they should deny green cards to immigrants deemed likely to be reliant on government welfare. The rule had been brewing in the agency for nearly two years but, within weeks of Cuccinelli taking charge, it was out.

8am – E         New blood-sucking leech identified in DC-area swamps. (Fox 5 DC) — WASHINGTON – The swamps of the Metro D.C. area have produced a new kind of parasite. Scientists from the Smithsonian recently published a paper in the Journal of Parasitology documenting their discovery of Macrobdella mimicus – the first new species of leech to be discovered in more than four decades. The leech species olive green with orange spots, and about as long as a cigarette. Other features closely resemble the species M. decora, prompting the scientists to name it Macrobdella mimicus, which comes from the Greek word for “imitator.” The new species, which was initially identified in Southern Maryland, can be found in a number of locations from Northern Georgia to Long Island. The scientist who discovered the new species told, “It’s not something new that’s come up; it’s something that has been there the whole time, unrecognized.” For more details on the new leech, go to the Smithsonian website.


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