Monday morning news: November 19, 2018


Florida races settled » The recount is over in Florida and Republicans have won a pair of big races in the Sunshine State.

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson conceded his reelection bid to Governor Rick Scott on Sunday. But he said he doesn’t plan to disappear from public life.

NELSON: I will continue to fight hard for what’s right, and I will also encourage others to seek common ground with their colleagues, colleagues on the other side of the aisle. 

Nelson was first elected to Congress nearly 40 years ago. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000.

Scott narrowly defeated Nelson by just over 10-thousand votes. That’s out of more than 8-million votes cast.  

And Democrat Andrew Gillum conceded the governor’s race in Florida for a second time. Gillum conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis on Election Night. He later retracted his concession as votes were recounted. But over the weekend he acknowledged the election is settled.

GILLUM: RJ and I wanted to take a moment congratulate Mr. DeSantis on becoming the next governor of the great state of Florida. 

The margin in that race: about 34,000 votes.


Kemp wins in Georgia, but Abrams plans to fight on » Meantime, in Georgia: Democrat Stacey Abrams has acknowledged that Republican Brian Kemp will be the state’s next governor. But she is not conceding that he won the gubernatorial race fair and square.  

Abrams says she plans to file a major federal lawsuit in the coming days for—quote—“gross mismanagement” of the election.

ABRAMS: This is not a speech of concession because concession means to acknowledge an action is right, true, or proper. As a woman of conscience and faith I cannot concede that. 

Abrams has argued since before the election that, as Georgia’s secretary of state, Kemp implemented policies that suppressed votes. Two days after the election, Kemp resigned the position so as not to oversee the counting of votes in the extremely tight contest.

For his part, Kemp said “We can no longer dwell” on “divisive politics.”

KEMP: The election is over with. It’s been a long, tough process. I certainly appreciate Stacey Abrams’ tenacity, how hard she worked. She was very tough competitor, but now we’re gonna move forward. 

The Georgia secretary of state’s office has not certified the election outcome, but unofficial results show Kemp with 50.2 percent of the more than 3.9 million votes cast, beyond the reach of a runoff or a recount.


Searchera in California race to find remains in fire-ravaged area » Searchers combing a Northern California town incinerated by the Camp wildfire stepped up their efforts Sunday. Rain in the forecast this week is certainly welcome news for firefighters, but it could complicate efforts to find the remains of those killed in the fire.

The water could turn the grounds and around the town of Paradise into a muddy mess making it even more difficult to sift through the ashes. Searchers have found the remains of 76 people so far. And hundreds more remain missing.

President Trump visited the Paradise area over the weekend. He agreed with Governor Jerry Brown that local, state, and the national government have to attack the problem of worsening wildfires in several ways.

TRUMP: I think we’re all on the same path. We do have to do management, maintenance and—we’ll be working also with environmental groups. I think everybody’s seen the light, and I don’t think we’ll have this again to this extent. We’re going to have to work quickly. 

FEMA administrator Brock Long joined President Trump in California. He told reporters…

LONG: To this point, as of this morning, I think we’ve had over 12,000 people already registered into our system, and we’ve handed out close to $3 million directly to those who have qualified for assistance. 

Long said FEMA will continue to work closely with state officials to provide aid to those affected by the fires.


Report: CIA believes Saudi crown prince ordered Khashoggi killing » President Trump said over the weekend that his administration will release a report, likely today or tomorrow, about the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

TRUMP: We’re going to come up with a report as to what we think the overall impact was and who caused it. And who did it? We’re talking about a killing. We’re not talking about anything else. We’re talking about a killing, so who did it? 

Trump acknowledged that the U.S. does have the audio recording believed to have captured the sounds of Khashoggi’s murder. He said he does not plan to listen to the tape, but intelligence officials have thoroughly briefed him on it.

Multiple media outlets reported that the CIA has concluded Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s murder inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. But the president said those reports were premature and that no conclusion had yet been reached.

President Trump said we may never know if the crown prince was responsible, but the U.S. has already started taking action against suspects in the case, ordering sanctions and travel bans against 17 men.


(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) In this Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, file photo Florida Gov. Rick Scott arrives for a meeting with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and new GOP senators at the Capitol in Washington. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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