Wednesday morning news, February 5, 2020


Trump touts economy at State of the Union address » AUDIO: Madam Speaker, the president of the United States!

The traditional welcome for President Trump last night as he delivered his State of the Union Address.  

Amid the acrimony of an ongoing impeachment trial, the address gave the president a chance to tout his successes and make the case of his reelection. Trump told a packed House chamber that under his administration, the union is strong—especially the economy.

TRUMP: The unemployment rate is the lowest in over half a century.

He also highlighted—among other things—trade reforms, a reinforced military, and border policies that have reduced traffic at the southern border. 

The president also recognized a few honored guests. 

TRUMP: Joining us in the gallery is the true and legitimate president of Venezuela, Juan Guaido.

He also honored conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who recently announced he’s battling advanced lung cancer. The president paused his address, while first lady Melania Trump presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 

Beneath a veneer of civility in the House chamber, there were a few signs of the current political climate in Washington. Before the address, President Trump ignored Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s offer of a handshake. Multiple Democrats walked out in the middle of his address. And afterward, Pelosi held up a copy of the president’s speech and tore it in half. 


Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivers Democratic response »  Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered the Democratic response. She said the president’s proclamations about the economy ring hollow with middle class workers. 

WHITMER: What matters is that millions of people struggle to get by or don’t have enough money at the end of the month after paying for transportation, student loans or prescription drugs. American workers are hurting. 

She hailed the healthcare proposals of Democratic White House hopefuls and blasted President Trump’s efforts to dismantle Obamacare. 

WHITMER: He’s asking the courts to rip those life-saving protections away. 

Whitmer also called out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for not acting on legislation passed by House Democrats. 


Senators spar over impeachment ahead of today’s final vote » Before making the walk to the House chamber on Tuesday, Senators again clashed over the president’s impeachment. The Senate will have the final say later today on whether to acquit or convict the president. And once again, members from both sides took to the Senate floor to explain how they will vote and why. 

Minority Leader Chuck Schumer charged that President Trump tried to blackmail a foreign power into interfering in American elections and the Senate should convict.

SCHUMER: If Americans believe that they don’t determine who is president, who is governor, who is senator, but some foreign potentate, out of reach of any law enforcement, can jaundice our elections, that’s the beginning of end of democracy.   

But Majority Leader Mitch McConnell argued that House Democrats never should’ve voted to impeach in the first place. 

MCCONNELL: It insults the intelligence of the American people to pretend that this was a solemn process reluctantly begun because of withheld foreigh aid. No, Washington Democrats’ position on this has been clear, literally, for years. 

The impeachment trial officially reconvenes at 4 p.m. Eastern Time today ahead of the Senate vote on a final verdict. 


Iowa releases partial results from Monday caucuses » The Iowa Democratic Party began releasing partial results from Monday’s first-in-the-nation caucuses yesterday. The data reflected the results from more than half the precincts in the state. 

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price said while the results were delayed, they were not compromised. 

PRICE: This was a coding error in one of the pieces on the back end, but the raw data, the data that has come in, is secure. And I can assure Iowans of that. 

After Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg all but declared victory Monday night—it appears his optimism was justified. 

With 62 percent of the results counted so far, he has secured the most delegates with 363. That’s about 27 percent.

Senator Bernie Sanders is running a close second with 338 delegates about 25 percent. 

Senator Elizabeth Warren has just over 18 percent to this point, and former Vice President Joe Biden has secured just under 16 percent of the delegates so far. 


More countries warn against travel to China » More countries are urging citizens not to travel to China, as the coronavirus continues to spread. WORLD Radio’s Anna Johansen reports. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: France has joined the U.K., the United States and others in warning against all nonessential travel to China. Air France has stopped all flights to and from the country, along with many other airlines. France has six confirmed cases of the virus and evacuated hundreds of people from China on two flights.

As of Tuesday, there are more than 20,000 confirmed cases around the world. And 425 people have died, mainly in China.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Anna Johansen.


(AP Photo/Susan Walsh) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., tears her copy of President Donald Trump’s s State of the Union address after he delivered it to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020. 

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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One comment on “Wednesday morning news, February 5, 2020

  1. Teddy Otero says:

    I put so much faith in your daily and tireless reporting from a Christian worldview so much that I subscribed to your magazine just last week. I’m sure your staff members try not to get swept up by cults of personality in politics, and if any even voted for Trump I’m sure they did so holding their nose, as I did.

    However, I was troubled by this news segment today, and I say that as someone 1) who hasn’t had a chance to watch anything but brief clips of the SOTU so far and 2) who is, at best, a tepid Trump supporter.

    First off, you begin by citing the “traditional welcome” President Trump received in the chamber. While I know you were referring to the brief audio clip immediately preceding, a major controversy of the speech was Pelosi’s omission of an honorific as she introduced him; thus, the welcome was not “traditional.” Failing to mention this is of no more consequence, perhaps, than failing to mention that AOC and others didn’t attend at all, but as you’ll see, it actually compounded your next slip up.

    That Trump ignored Pelosi’s offer of a handshake is certainly debatable, yet you present it as fact. It is one of the few clips I’ve seen, and to my very untrained eye he appears to have missed the offer completely (and it’s obviously impossible to ignore something of which you are unaware). Even if your characterization of the incident as a deliberate snub was accurate, reporting the irrefutable fact that Pelosi had omitted the honorific just moments before would have at least added some context to your coverage.

    Keep up the great work, but please know that your listeners (and readers) are well-read and pay close attention to both the actual events and your reporting. Editorial choices (mistakes?) like these serve to diminish the trust we have in your coverage of the events of which we have no first-hand knowledge.

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