Mayor Pete Buttigieg faces angry crowds at home & Trump compliments Clinton: The Morning Rundown

Palestinians have largely dismissed Trump's new economic plan for Mideast peace as "unrealistic."
Image: Palestinian man walks with his bicycle past a mural depicting U.S. President Donald Trump, in Gaza City
A Palestinian man walks with his bicycle past a mural depicting U.S. President Donald Trump in Gaza City on Monday. Mohammed Salem / Reuters

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By Petra Cahill

Good morning, NBC News readers.

One Democratic presidential candidate faced hecklers at home yesterday, while President Donald Trump gave his 2016 challenger a rare compliment.

Here's what we're watching today.


Buttigieg learns the hazards of campaigning for president as a mayor

"Get the people that are racists off the streets!"

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was met with angry shouting and heckles as he spoke during a tense and emotional town hall meeting Sunday about the fatal shooting of a black man by a white police officer a week ago.

It's been one of the first big tests for the mayor as he's soared from obscurity to top-tier presidential candidate.

He's learning the hard way that mayors can be held immediately accountable on the presidential campaign trail, especially when there are challenges at home.


Trump dismisses Khashoggi killing, compliments Hillary Clinton

President Donald Trump said he doesn't want war with Iran, but if it comes there will be "obliteration like you've never seen before."

"But I'm not looking to do that," the president added in an exclusive interview with NBC's Chuck Todd for "Meet the Press" on Friday that aired Sunday.

In the wide-ranging interview, Trump also dismissed Saudi Arabia's brutal killing and dismembering of the Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi. He said the Middle East "is a vicious, hostile place" and defended the regime as a valuable trade partner.

"I'm not like a fool that says, 'We don't want to do business with them,'" Trump said, adding that if the U.S. does not, the Russians and Chinese will.

"Take their money. Take their money, Chuck," he added.

He also weighed in on the 2020 election and said he would rather run for re-election against former Vice President Joe Biden than his 2016 foe, Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Giving his former opponent a rare compliment, he said Clinton was "a great candidate. She was very smart. She was very tough. She was ruthless and vicious."

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Watch the full unedited interview below or read the transcript here.


Cut out of the process, Palestinians reject Trump's economic plan for Mideast peace

The White House released the economic portion of its long-delayed Mideast peace plan Saturday, promising tens of billions of dollars for the Palestinian economy.

The "Peace to Prosperity" plan will be unveiled at a conference in Bahrain this week as the Trump administration looks to promote its economic vision for how to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But Palestinians and their backers in the Arab world have already rejected it out of hand — calling it "unrealistic and an illusion."


'It's maddening': Student debt scams flourish with rise in robocalls, advocates say

The crushing weight of Michelle Lannon's college debt — almost $200,000 in federal loans and $15,000 in a private loan — haunts her until she goes to sleep. When her cellphone rings with an unknown number, which happens daily, she tenses up.

College graduates across the country saddled with student debt have become prime targets for "bad actors" eager for a piece of the student loan industry — and one of their key methods is harassing, aggressive, seemingly never-ending robocalls.


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Plus


THINK about it

The women in the Democratic primary debates will make history this week — especially if the moderators help call out bad behavior, like mansplaining, Barbara Lee writes in an opinion piece.


One fun thing

Meet 12-year-old Elisabeth Anisimow. She has a unique artistic process: she creates “living art,” inspired by some of the art world’s greatest painters, with the help of real people.

Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

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

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Thanks, Petra