Wednesday morning news: December 4, 2019

House Intel panel issues report is Judiciary Committee takes up impeachment » The House Judiciary Committee will gavel in its first  impeachment hearing this morning—taking the baton from Democrats on the Intelligence panel. 

The Intel Committee released its 300-page report on Tuesday, laying out its case for impeaching President Trump. Committee chairman Adam Schiff summed it up this way…

SCHIFF: The president of the United States solicited foreign interference in our election, and used the power of his office, the power to convene a meeting in the Oval Office, the power to provide or withhold hundreds of millions of dollars of aid to an ally at war to get his political dirty work done.  

One day earlier, Republicans issued a report of their own. Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn said it made three key points: 

BLACKBURN: That not any of the Democrat witnesses found any kind bribery or extortion or collusion, second point is that they are biased against the president, and third is that these guys have a different worldview. They don’t like the president, so they’re going to try to boot him out of office. 

The Judiciary Committee is now tasked with weighing potential articles of impeachment ahead of a possible full House vote by Christmas. That would send it to the Senate for a trial in January.

Trump butts heads with French president at NATO summit » President Trump again blasted the inquiry. Speaking from London, he said Democrats are misusing the impeachment process. 

The president is in London for a NATO summit where he butted heads with French President Emmanuel Macron. 

Tuesday morning, he chastised Macron for an earlier remark when he warned that NATO could no longer depend on America to defend it. Macron said we are now experiencing “the brain death of NATO.”

TRUMP: You just can’t go around making statements like that about NATO. It’s very disrespectful. 

When the two met hours later, they shared a tense exchange. Trump said many captured ISIS fighters come from France and other parts of Europe and put Macron on the spot.  

TRUMP: Would you like some nice ISIS fighters? I could give them to you. You could take every one you want.
MACRON: Let’s be serious. 

Macron disputed Trump’s remark, saying only a small percentage come from Europe. 

U.S., France clash over proposed tariffs » Trump and Macron met just hours after the Trump administration proposed new tariffs on $2.4 billion in French imports. The tariffs would hit French champagne, cheese, and other products.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Tuesday that his country won’t take it sitting down. 

LE MAIRE: If the U.S. at the end of the process refuse international solution, and decide to put new sanctions on France and to hit France by new sanctions, we would not have any other choice but to retaliate at the European level. 

But the Trump administration says the tariffs are the U.S. response to France’s new tax on digital services. U.S. trade officials said the tax will unduly burden U.S. tech companies including Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon.

White House, RNC: No press credentials for Bloomberg reporters » President Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee will no longer give press credentials to Bloomberg News reporters to cover campaign events until it reverses a controversial policy. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Last week, the founder of Bloomberg News, billionaire Michael Bloomberg, announced he’s running for president. And shortly thereafter, the news service said it would not investigate him or his Democratic rivals. But it would continue to probe the Trump administration, as the sitting government.

That drew a swift response from Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale. He said Bloomberg has now formalized its “preferential reporting policies.” He added … “we are accustomed to unfair reporting practices, but most news organizations don’t announce their biases so publicly.” 

Parscale said the campaign will not issue press credentials to Bloomberg reporters as long as that policy remains in place. 

And the Republican National Committee quickly followed suit. 

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted “Media outlets should be independent and fair, and this decision proves that Bloomberg News is neither.” 

But Bloomberg Editor-in-Chief John Micklethwait said the accusation of bias is just plain wrong. He said “We have covered Donald Trump fairly and in an unbiased way since he became a candidate in 2015 and will continue to do so.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin. 

Kamala Harris ends White House bid » Another Democrat is dropping out of the presidential race. California Senator Kamala Harris told supporters on Tuesday that she was ending her White House bid. 

She called it “one of the hardest decisions of my life.” But she conceded… “My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue.”

Her campaign started strong. She raised an impressive $12 million in the first three months and quickly locked down major endorsements. But as the field grew, her fundraising remained flat. And she never caught up to top tier candidates in national polls.

(AP Photo/ Evan Vucci) President Donald Trump meets French President Emmanuel Macron at Winfield House, Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, in London. 

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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