Monday morning news: May 20, 2019

Lawmakers clash over U.S. response to Iranian threats » Lawmakers continue clash over rising tensions with Iran. As the White House warns of a growing Iranian threat, Democrats are sounding alarms over the Trump administration.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is an Iraq War veteran who is running for president. She told ABC’s This Week she doesn’t trust President Trump when he says he doesn’t want war.

GABBARD: He says he doesn’t want it, but the actions of him and his administration, people like John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, tell us a very different story. They’re setting the stage for a war with Iran. 

Some Democrats have criticized the administration’s decision to deploy an aircraft carrier group and other military assets to the region.

But Republican Senator Marco Rubio said it would irresponsible of the White House to not respond to Iranian threats.

RUBIO: Imagine if an attack like that did occur and Americans were killed and we didn’t have assets in the region to respond to protect them, then the criticism would be why weren’t you prepared for it. They’re doing absolutely the right thing. 

Administration officials will brief lawmakers behind closed doors about U.S. intelligence on Iran tomorrow.

Tornados touch down in several states » A spate of tornadoes raked across several states over the weekend, ripping apart homes and other structures.

One twister destroyed multiple homes and injured a resident in the town of Geronimo, Oklahoma.

AUDIO: All of a sudden the roof went [sound] and that was it. It was gone. Everything gone.

The National Weather Service confirmed an EF2 tornado touched down there Saturday.

Another suspected tornado caused damage to numerous homes in northwestern Arkansas. The winds downed trees and power lines across a highway and knocked out power to tens of thousands of homes.

In Abilene, Texas, 150 miles west of Fort Worth—strong winds prompted the evacuation of a nursing home and damaged dozens of buildings. Tornadoes also touched down in Kansas and Nebraska.

So far, no deaths reported in any of the four states.

Rep. Amash first Republican to accuse Trump of impeachable conduct » Michigan Congressman Justin Amash over the weekend became the first Republican lawmaker to openly consider impeachment of the president.

He tweeted that contrary to Attorney General William “Barr’s portrayal, Mueller’s report reveals that President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.”

That drew strong rebukes from GOP leaders. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy blasted Amash on Sunday, charging that he’s ill informed on the issue and is just trying to make headlines.  

MCCARTHY: He votes more with Nancy Pelosi than he ever votes with me. It’s a question whether he’s even in our Republican conference as a whole. 

Amash stopped short of calling on Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against Trump.

Democratic governor signals support for heartbeat law » Louisiana’s Democratic governor has voiced support for “heartbeat” legislation now working its way through the state legislature. The legislation would track closely with bills passed in several other states that protect the unborn from abortion as soon as a heartbeat is detectable. That’s usually about six weeks gestation.

Governor John Bel Edwards told WAFB TV…

EDWARDS: In eight years in the Legislature, I was a pro-life legislator, a 100 percent with the Louisiana Right To Life. When I ran for governor I said that I was pro-life, and so that’s something that’s consistent. 

Edwards says he’ll continue to break with his party on the issue. He cited not only his Catholic faith an influence, but also his daughter Samantha. Doctors suggested abortion when she was diagnosed with spina bifida before birth. She’s now a thriving adult, married and working as a school counselor.

Louisiana’s heartbeat bill is awaiting one final vote in the state’s Republican controlled House.

California high court says case against David Daleiden will proceed » California’s Supreme Court has denied David Daleiden’s request to toss out the criminal prosecution against him. Daleiden is the journalist behind undercover videos that showed abortion industry officials talking about the trafficking of body parts from aborted babies.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is the prosecutor. Daleiden faces 15 criminal felony counts for his video exposé. He’s accused of non-consensual eavesdropping and conspiracy.

A court in Texas dismissed a previous case against him in Houston.

(Ronald W. Erdrich/The Abilene Reporter-News via AP) Wesley Mantooth lifts a wooden chair out a window of the home of his father, Robert, in Abilene, Texas, on Saturday, May 18, 2019. 

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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