Monday morning news: September 23, 2019


Trump discussed Hunter Biden with Ukrainian president » Standing on the White House lawn Sunday, President Trump spoke to reporters about a July phone conversation he had with the president of Ukraine. 

Recent reports say a whistleblower inside the White House filed a complaint with the U.S. intelligence inspector general about that call. 

TRUMP: The conversation I had with the president of the Ukraine was absolutely perfect. 

Trump insisted he said nothing wrong during the call and that the whole ordeal is another politically motivated attack.

But he did appear to at least partially confirm reports that he discussed the business dealings of Joe Biden’s son, Hunter. Trump said his call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky partially centered on fighting corruption.

TRUMP: Was largely the fact that we don’t want out people like Vice President Biden and his son creating—to the corruption already in the Ukraine. 

The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump repeatedly pressured Zelensky to investigate Hunter Biden’s business dealings in Ukraine. 

But according to The Journal’s source, Trump did not bring up U.S. aid to Ukraine, and did not appear to offer any quid pro quo for cooperation.

Still the U.S. intel inspector general described the complaint as “serious.” And House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff is demanding to see it. 

SCHIFF: Someone is trying to manipulate the system to keep information about an urgent matter from the Congress. 

So far, acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire has not authorized the inspector general to hand over the complaint to Congress. Schiff suggested that pressure from the Justice Department or the White House could be reason. His committee has subpoenaed Maguire to testify publicly on Thursday. 


Trump admin, GOP call for scrutiny of Biden dealings in Ukraine » Meantime, the Trump administration and Republicans charge that Democrats and media outlets should be showing a lot more interest in those Biden business dealings in Ukraine. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday… 

POMPEO: I hope that if Vice President Biden engaged in behavior that was inappropriate, I hope the American people will come to learn that. 

Republicans point to an episode in 2016. Joe Biden, then the sitting vice president, pressured the Ukranian government to fire the country’s chief prosecutor, Viktor Shokin. Shokin, at the time, was investigating Ukranian gas company Burisma Holdings while Hunter Biden sat on its board of directors. 

The vice president threatened to withhold a billion dollars in loan guarantees to Ukraine, and its government fired Shokin a short time later. Democrats argue that Biden’s pressure was part of a larger Western effort to remove an allegedly corrupt prosecutor. 

But Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham complained of a double standard and called for a full investigation.

GRAHAM: Somebody in the Justice Department to look at all things Ukraine. We’ve looked at all things Russia and Trump, his family, everything about his family, every transaction between the Trump campaign and Russia. 

Graham said investigators should find out if Ukraine interfered in the 2016 U.S. election by passing information to Democrats.


Officials surveying flood damage in southeast Texas » Officials in Texas are surveying the damage today after flood waters swamped Houston and other parts of southeast Texas.

At least five people died in the flooding. And hundreds of homeowners will have to haul waterlogged carpet, drywall, and furniture out of their homes.  

Many citizens and entrepreneurs in the area are stepping up to help victims of the flood. Jim McIngvale owns a Houston furniture store, which he’s turned into a shelter. 

MCINGVALE: We went out and picked up hundreds of people. They came in and of course they were all shellshocked, but We tried to give them comfort and food and those type of things.

Recovery efforts are ongoing near Beaumont, Texas where Tropical Storm Imelda turned nearby portions of Interstate-10 into a lake. In some places, it dropped nearly two feet of rain in just 24 hours. 


UN agency: Tanzania not sharing details on Ebola-like cases » The World Health Organization has issued an unusual statement—raising questions about whether Tanzania is covering up possible cases of Ebola. 

Tanzanian health workers have investigated numerous patients with Ebola-like symptoms. But the UN agency said “despite several requests” its government refuses to share the results. Officials say without cooperation, they’re flying blind as they try to assess the risks within the region. 

The current Ebola outbreak started last year in neighboring Congo. It has infected more than 3,000 people. 

Tanzania says it does not have and has never had a confirmed case of the virus within its borders. But officials at the WHO say they’ve learned of at least one suspected fatal case in the country.


Downton Abbey tops weekend box office » At the weekend box office, Downton Abbey grabbed the top spot.

TRAILER: The king and queen are coming to stay. What? Here we go. 

The feature adaptation of the popular series hauled in an estimated $31 million in its opening weekend. 

Second place—a virtual tie between Sylvester Stallone’s R-rated Rambo: Last Blood and the outer space sci-fi thriller Ad Astra, starring Brad Pitt. 

You can find WORLD’s reviews of current films—along with ratings and content information—at WNG.org/movies.


(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) In this Oct. 11, 2012, file photo, Hunter Biden waits for the start of the his father’s, Vice President Joe Biden’s, debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky. 

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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