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McDonald's CEO out, Iran violates nuke deal and 'SNL' takes on Warren: The Morning Rundown

Giuliani and co. are still searching for political dirt in Ukraine.
Image: Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City, speaks at an event in Manza, Albania
Rudy Giuliani is still pushing Ukraine to investigate President Donald Trump's opponents. Florion Goga / Reuters file

Good morning, NBC News readers.

Rudy Giuliani is still plugging away on his bevy of Ukraine investigations, 2020 candidates vie for attention while the impeachment inquiry steals the show and a group of Kung Fu Nuns are breaking down gender stereotypes in the Himalayas.

Here's what we're watching this Monday morning.


Pro-Trump search for dirt on the Bidens and the 2016 election goes on amid impeachment circus

While Congress heard closed-door testimony last week on President Donald Trump pushing Ukraine to investigate his opponents, Giuliani was holding his own private Ukraine meeting in his Manhattan office.

The president's personal lawyer met with former Ukrainian diplomat Andriy Telizhenko, who alleges that Kyiv conspired with the Democratic National Committee to hurt Trump in 2016.

So far from keeping their heads down, those working with Giuliani's campaign to get Ukraine to investigate Trump's political opponents are moving ahead unabated, NBC News' interviews in Kyiv and Washington with several of those involved reveal.

Meantime, 49 percent of Americans now support Trump's impeachment and removal from office, according to the latest NBC/ Wall Street Journal poll.

Despite those grim numbers for Trump, the poll also contains silver linings for the president. The GOP base remains loyal to him with nine-in-10 Republicans opposing his removal from office.


'Rock bottom': Residents' health suffers in states that refused to expand Medicaid

Mississippi is one of 14 states that chose not to expand Medicaid, forgoing about $1 billion from the federal government each year since 2012 when the Affordable Care Act offered states the opportunity to expand care.

The conservative states that refused Medicaid expansion have left an estimated 2.5 million poor adults without health insurance.

As health care costs continue to grow, it has become a core campaign issue in Mississippi’s contentious gubernatorial election that will be decided Tuesday.

"I've gone years without medication, and it's gotten to a point where you hit rock bottom. And it's just like, 'Okay, if I go, I go,'" said Darlene Velasco, who is diabetic and stopped taking her medication after losing insurance.

Darlene Velasco's untreated Type 2 diabetes caused cataracts to build up in her eyes to the point she was declared legally blind earlier this year. Bryan Tarnowski / for NBC News

Impeachment haunts the campaign trail as candidates compete against the bigger story

Impeachment is rolling into the 2020 presidential primary like a winter storm, threatening to blot out the sun for candidates desperate for attention and sweep several leading candidates off the trail entirely just before the Iowa caucuses early next year.

And there's not a thing the Democratic contenders can do about it.

"You know, a lot of politics is about the illusion of control, when really we're all subject to the winds of history that are blowing around," Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said in response to questions from NBC News aboard his campaign bus.

But "Saturday Night Live" is doing its very best to keep a spotlight on the 2020 candidates.

This weekend they took aim at Sen. Elizabeth Warren's newly released "Medicare for All" plan with cast member Kate McKinnon playing the candidate explaining her plan at a mock town hall event.

We apologize, this video has expired.

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Plus


THINK about it

Jennifer Garner's Instagram is the last uncorrupted corner of the internet, Brian Moylan writes in an opinion piece.


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One fun thing

A group of Kung Fu Nuns are kicking gender stereotypes to the curb and striking a pose for equality.

The Druk Amitabha Mountain Monastery in Kathmandu is the home of hundreds of young nuns rewriting their place in the Buddhist hierarchy, while spreading a message of human rights in villages across the Himalayas through kung fu.

"We do not spread Buddhism, we spread humanity," one of the nuns explained.

"When people think about a nun, they think of an old person sitting on a mat meditating or doing mantras. But with time, you have to change, and it is the 21st century," said Jigme Konchok Lham. Maria de la Guardia / for NBC News

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