Hill and Holmes' impeachment testimony, Netanyahu's indictment and Tesla's 'Cybertruck' reveal: The Morning Rundown

Armed with loads of evidence after two weeks of public hearings, Democrats are moving toward impeaching Trump before Christmas.
Image: Fiona Hill, David Holmes
Fiona Hill described Ambassador to the E.U. Gordon Sondland as running a "domestic political errand” and said she warned him it would "blow up." J. Scott Applewhite / AP

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By Petra Cahill

Good morning, NBC News readers.

The top take aways from the week's final public impeachment hearings, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's indictment, and Tesla's less than perfect electric pickup truck reveal.

Here's what we're watching today.


What we learned from Day 5 of impeachment testimony

Fiona Hill, President Donald Trump's former top adviser on Russia and Europe, and David Holmes, a counselor for political affairs at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, testified before the House Intelligence Committee for more than five hours on Thursday — capping the week's long list of public hearings in the Democratic-led impeachment inquiry.

Hill accused Republican lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee of echoing Russian propaganda by promoting the "fictional narrative" that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election.

And Holmes laid out additional details about the critical July 26 call he overheard between Trump and Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union.

Here are the top takeaways from their testimony.

So after two weeks of public impeachment hearings, where do things stand?

NBC News Jonathan Allen writes in a news analysis that officials handed the House a pile of evidence for impeachment.

Meantime, the world has also been watching.

Diplomatic and foreign policy experts tell NBC News that Trump's habit of deviating — sometimes wildly — from long-held alliances and diplomatic norms has left many foreign leaders "bewildered" as they "do their best to avoid landmines."


Trump admin plans to expand 'Remain in Mexico' policy to Arizona border, emails show

The Trump administration plans to expand its "Remain in Mexico" policy on Friday by sending asylum seekers who cross the border in the Tucson, Arizona, sector back into Mexico to await their court dates, according to an internal email obtained by NBC News.

The expansion would send immigrants claiming asylum in and around Tucson first to El Paso, Texas, then back into Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, according to the email.


Israel vs. Netanyahu: Embattled PM indicted on corruption charges

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust,Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced Thursday.

Netanyahu, who has denied any wrongdoing and said he is the victim of a "witch hunt," faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of bribery and a maximum 3-year term for fraud and breach of trust, according to legal experts.

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The bombshell indictment is likely to prolong the country’s political uncertainty as it looks set to head into its third national election in a year.


Musk unveils 'bulletproof' electric Tesla truck, but windows shatter

Tesla CEO Elon Musk rolled out an electric "Cybertruck" at a launch event on Thursday. But when he sought to show off the vehicle's sturdiness, the test hit a bump in the road.

A sledgehammer swung at the door had no effect, but when a metal sphere was hurled against the window, it shattered. "Room for improvement," Musk joked.

Whoops. Elon Musk's demonstration didn't go exactly as planned.Ringo H.W. Chiu / AP

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Plus


THINK about it

The Navy is defying Trump's clemency of SEAL Edward Gallagher to save its institutional integrity, Sébastien Roblin writes in an opinion piece.


Live BETTER

From pomegranate to pistachios, six easy and delicious ways to upgrade your salad for winter.


The Week in Pictures

Ye Aung Thu / AFP - Getty Images

Protesters on a bridge use a rope to escape from the police siege on Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus on Monday.

From Hong Kong to the halls of Congress, see more of the most compelling images from the past week here.


Quote of the day

"I refuse to be part of an effort to legitimize an alternate narrative that the Ukrainian government is a U.S. adversary, and that Ukraine — not Russia — attacked us in 2016."

Fiona Hill's opening statement to House investigators in the public impeachment hearings (page 7).


One kind thing

In this era of partisan division, one thing we could all seem to benefit from is a little kindness, a little empathy.

So, it's no coincidence that the new movie "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" — about the television icon Mr.Rogers – is coming out now.

"It feels like everyone is saying to me, 'Oh my gosh, it feels like we need Mr. Rogers more than ever,'" Director Marielle Heller told NBC News in an interview about what inspired the film.

Tom Hanks stars as Mister Rogers in "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood."Lacey Terrell / Sony Pictures

Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown. I hope you have a beautiful weekend.

If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — drop me an email at: petra@nbcuni.com

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Thanks, Petra