Trump blasts Democrats at NATO meeting, storm slams Northeast, and Christmas arrives at the White House: The Morning Rundown

Trump also called comments by France's President Emmanuel Macron critical of NATO "very insulting" at a wide-ranging press conference.
Image: President Donald Trump meets NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg at Winfield House in London
President Donald Trump speaks to members of the press during a lengthy question-and-answer session with reporters while the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg sat alongside him in London on Tuesday. Evan Vucci / AP

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By Petra Cahill

Good morning, NBC News readers.

President Donald Trump is in the U.K. today for a gathering of world leaders in honor of 70 years of the NATO alliance as the impeachment inquiry enters a new phase back at home.

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


Trump labels Democrats 'unpatriotic' as he arrives in London for NATO gathering

Trump hit the ground running this morning with an impromptu 52-minute press conference with NATO's Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg sitting alongside.

Trump riffed on all manner of issues during the wide-ranging chat with reporters — from the impeachment inquiry to the British election, frays within the NATO alliance, the China trade war, North Korea aggression and recent protests in Iran.

Trump was particularly critical of France and President Emmanuel Macron's recent comments that NATO was undergoing "brain death," saying the remarks were "very insulting."

The rift between the leaders underlined the divisions within the alliance threatening to spoil its 70th birthday party.

And while Trump said that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is "very capable" and that he planned to meet him while he is London, its unclear whether that will happen.

Rather, Johnson is eager to avoid a potentially damaging Trump meeting just over a week before an election that will decide whether he remains in power.

But, as he steps on to the world stage, the shadow of impeachment looms large, NBC News' Jonathan Allen and Shannon Pettypiece write in an analysis.


'Long-duration storm' lingers over Northeast

If you live in the Northeast, tuck back in under the covers if you can.

The wintry storm that has killed at least eight people as it marches across the country was expected to hang on stubbornly through Tuesday, further bedeviling travel plans in the Northeast.

The powerful storm will show up along the Northeastern and New England coastlines, causing snow — heavy in some areas — from the Appalachian Mountains to inland areas of the Northeast and much of New England, the National Weather Service said.

It could be well into Wednesday morning before the weather system — which the weather service, in a bit of understatement, called a "long-duration storm" — finally moves completely off the Maine coast, forecasters said.


'Stand up beside me': Prince Andrew's accuser asks to be believed in first U.K. interview

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A woman who has said she was trafficked by the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to Prince Andrew implored the British people to “stand up beside" her, according to a BBC Panorama interview broadcast Monday.

“This is not some sordid sex story. This is a story of being trafficked. This is a story of abuse and this is a story of your guys’ royalty,” Virginia Roberts Giuffre told the network.

Andrew, who has repeatedly denied the allegations, recently said he did not recall ever meeting her during his own BBC interview.

Following the widely criticized interview, Andrew announced that he was stepping away from public duties because of the controversy surrounding his past friendship with Epstein.

We apologize, this video has expired.

California is getting creative to save higher education. Are the experiments working?

While other states cut higher education spending, California is confronting the stubborn problems that are plaguing colleges and universities nationwide.

The state is making big investments in a host of creative approaches to get students enrolled and graduating on time, including cheaper textbooks, food banks, extra tutoring, programs for parents and more.

If the experiments work, they could become a model for states that can afford to follow in California’s footsteps.

“If you can make something work here, it will probably work anywhere else,” said Kevin Cook, a researcher at the Public Policy Institute of California.

James Soberano is a freshman at San Jose State University who is already worried about getting the classes he needs to graduate on time. Alison Yin / for the Hechinger Report

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Plus


THINK about it

The impeachment debate is heading to Nadler's House committee. But the real fight is in the Senate, professor at Loyola Law School Jessica Levinson writes in an opinion piece.


Live BETTER

It's Giving Tuesday. Here are ideas for a variety of charitable gifts that will delight the recipient and give back to those less fortunate.


One fun thing

Christmas has arrived at the White House. Well, the decorations at least.

First lady Melania Trump unveiled the first photos of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue decorated for the holidays in a theme she designed and dubbed "The Spirit of America."

"This Christmas season I want to honor those who have shaped our country and made it the place we are proud to call home," she said in a White House press release.

The first lady's official Twitter page also released a short video showing her walking through the glistening decor in various rooms of the White House.

First lady Melania Trump walks through the Cross Hall inside the White House, now adorned in Christmas decor. @FLOTUS/ Twitter

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