News Wrap: House Democrats move closer to holding Barr, Ross in contempt



JUDY WOODRUFF: President Trump says tonight
he is beating Democrats in a battle being fought along the dividing lines of race. It began with his attacks on four freshman
Democratic women in the U.S. House of Representatives. Last night, the House voted to condemn his
attacks as racist. But as he left the White House late today
for a campaign rally in North Carolina, Mr. Trump said he has no regrets. DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States:
I do think I'm winning the political fight. I think I'm winning it by a lot. I think that they are not espousing the views
of our country. I'm not relishing the fight. I'm enjoying it because I have to get the
word out to the American people. JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi said the president is trying to distract people from criticisms of his policies. She also told reporters today that last night's
congressional resolution condemning Mr. Trump's tweets was — quote — "benign." REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): It condemned the words
of the president, not the president, but the words of the president — saying that he was
racist — we were saying that the words that he used were racist. So that was as gentle as it could be, considering
the inappropriateness and the disgusting nature of what the president said. JUDY WOODRUFF: The speaker also moved today
to block action on impeaching the president. Texas Democratic Representative Al Green offered
an impeachment resolution, but the House tabled it. Pelosi said Democrats need time first to finish
investigations of Mr. Trump. House Democrats, meanwhile, moved this evening
to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt
of Congress. The two men had refused to provide documents
behind the plan to plan a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The president has now abandoned that effort,
but the issue was still very much alive on the House floor. REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD): The departments have
refused to provide key unredacted documents that we need to understand the truth, the
whole truth, and nothing but the truth, about why they really made this decision. REP. JAMES COMER (R-KY): If the Democrats can't
impeach President Trump, they will instead hold his Cabinet in contempt of Congress. This is just another episode in political
theater. This exercise is not a responsible use of
the contempt authority. JUDY WOODRUFF: Despite the House action, it
is unlikely the U.S. Justice Department will actually prosecute Barr or Ross on the contempt
citation. The Pentagon announced today that it is sending
another 1,000 Texas National Guard and an additional 1,100 active-duty troops to the
U.S.-Mexico border. They will join about 4,500 troops already
deployed for logistical support and aerial surveillance. The Trump administration has said the troops
are needed to backstop border agents, who face a surge of migrants. The Mexican drug kingpin known as El Chapo
has been sentenced to life in a U.S. prison without parole. A federal judge in New York imposed the penalty
on Joaquin Guzman today. Prosecutors said that Guzman's Sinaloa cartel
smuggled mountains of cocaine into the U.S. over 25 years and killed those who stood in
the way. BRIAN BENCZKOWSKI, U.S. Department of Justice:
The long road that led Chapo Guzman from the mountains of Sinaloa to the courthouse behind
us today was paved with death, drugs and destruction. But it ended today with justice. JUDY WOODRUFF: The judge also ordered Guzman
to pay more than $12 billion in drug earnings. Newly released federal data shows pharmaceutical
companies in the U.S. stepped up shipments of opioid painkillers as the addiction epidemic
exploded. Between 2006 and 2012, the shipments rose
more than 50 percent, totaling 76 billion pills. The data was released by a federal judge in
Ohio who is presiding over hundreds of lawsuits against the drugmakers. The World Health Organization has declared
an international health emergency over the Ebola outbreak in Congo. Today's action follows the virus spread into
Goma, a city of two million people close to neighboring Rwanda. Ebola has also appeared in Uganda. The year-old outbreak has infected thousands
in Congo and left more than 1,600 dead. But until now, the WHO had declined to declare
an emergency. In Sudan, the ruling military council and
pro-democracy leaders signed an agreement today to share power, following months of
political deadlock. Representatives from the two sides met in
Khartoum for the signing. Opposition leaders said it was the beginning
of a new era. IBRAHIM AL-AMIN, Leader, Sudanese Opposition
Coalition (through translator): Today, we look forward to a new phase, one where we
can rely on ourselves, and move away from all that divides us. Sudan is for all Sudanese people, and, yes,
those who signed here today are a part of the revolution and are a part of the Sudanese
people. JUDY WOODRUFF: Protest leaders had demanded
an immediate transfer of power. Instead, it will take place over three years. The parties also have to work out the exact
division of powers. All of this follows the overthrow of longtime
dictator Omar al-Bashir back in April. Senior citizens in Hong Kong took to the streets
today in support of young pro-democracy activists. Thousands marched to the central government
offices holding banners that read "Support the youngsters." They also accused police of using too much
force. Demonstrations have engulfed the city in recent
months, sparked by a proposal to extradite criminal suspects to mainland China. Back in this country, prosecutors in Massachusetts
today dropped a sexual assault case against actor Kevin Spacey. He was accused of groping a young man at a
Nantucket restaurant in 2016. But his accuser refused to testify about a
missing cell phone. Spacey's lawyers said that text messages on
it could vindicate him. Spacey has faced other allegations of sexual
misconduct, but, so far, no other criminal charges. And on Wall Street, stocks gave ground on
disappointing earnings reports and ongoing worries about trade tensions with China. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 115
points to close below 27220. The Nasdaq fell 37, and the S&P 500 was down
19. Still to come on the "NewsHour": the painful
history behind the president's racist tweets against members of Congress; a key Trump adviser
on what's next in the White House's long-promised plan for peace in the Middle East; tensions
ratchet up between the U.S. and NATO ally Turkey over the controversial sale of Russian
weapons; plus, much more.




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