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Public impeachment hearings Day 1, Turkey's Erdogan visits the White House, and a new Sexiest Man Alive: The Morning Rundown

Here's what to know as the House convenes the first public presidential impeachment hearings in over 20 years.

Good morning, NBC News readers.

Buckle up for a big news day. The first public presidential impeachment hearings in over 20 years are set to begin in the House at 10 a.m. ET.

Here's what you need to know.


First public impeachment hearings get underway

The impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump will enter a new phase today with the House Intelligence Committee's first public hearings.

Democrats believe the witnesses will bring to life allegations that Trump has abused the power of the presidency.

Republican lawmakers are expected to focus on the witnesses' lack of direct interaction with the president and to try and give credence to a debunked conspiracy theory that it was Ukraine, and not Russia, that meddled in the 2016 presidential election.


Ahead of Trump meeting, Erdogan threatens to buy Russian jets

Meantime, across the street Trump will be hosting his own special guest: Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Despite the prestigious platform of a White House meeting, Erdogan is threatening to further inflame tensions between Washington and Ankara by purchasing Russian military fighter jets, according to multiple people familiar with the discussions.

And as prosecutors turn up the heat on a multi-million dollar sanctions evasion scheme involving Turkey and Iran, national security experts fear that Erdogan will use his influence with Trump to ask for protection.

Trump has faced push back from lawmakers for inviting Erdogan to the White House just weeks after the recent Turkish offensive in Syria. Ludovic Marin / AFP - Getty Images file

Arctic blast heads east and south after pummeling the Midwest

Better bundle up this morning.

The arctic blast of snow and ice that killed at least four people and caused highway pileups involving dozens of vehicles on highways across the Midwest is taking aim at the East and as far south as Texas, where more record and near-record low temperatures are forecast for today.


Exclusive: Senior Trump official embellished her résumé, put face on a fake Time cover

A senior Trump administration official exaggerated her résumé with misleading claims about her professional background — even creating a fake Time magazine cover with her face on it — raising questions about her qualifications to hold a top position at the State Department.

An NBC News investigation found Mina Chang inflated her educational background, invented a role on a U.N. panel and exaggerated the scope of her nonprofit's work.


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Plus

People take selfies in flooded St. Mark's Square on Wednesday. Marco Bertorello / AFP - Getty Images

THINK about it

Will the Supreme Court stand up to Trump over DACA? All eyes are turning to Chief Justice John Roberts, Jessica Levinson, professor at Loyola Law School, writes in an opinion piece.


Live BETTER

Comic books from DC to Marvel have tackled Asian American representation in different ways. Here are five worth checking out.


One fun thing

John Legend has a new title: Sexiest Man Alive.

Blake Shelton, who was also bestowed People magazine's honor in 2017, made the announcement on NBC's "The Voice."

The country singer handed Legend some short shorts with bedazzled letters "EGOTSMA" to signify the singer's many honors: an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony and now, Sexiest Man Alive.

John Legend has been named People Magazine's Sexiest Man Alive for 2019. Jordan Strauss / AP

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