Trump doubles down on Iran threats, huge crowds mourn Soleimani, and the Golden Globes top moments: The Morning Rundown

Hundreds of thousands gathered in Tehran chanting "Death to America" Monday as they mourned the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
Image: Iranian people attend a funeral procession for Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, who were killed in an air strike at Baghdad airport, in Tehran, Iran
Iranians attend a funeral procession for Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Tehran on Monday. Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA / Reuters

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
SUBSCRIBE
By Petra Cahill

Good morning, NBC News readers.

We're following more fallout from the U.S. killing of Iran's top general as hundreds of thousands of Iranians take to the streets of Tehran to mourn his death.

On the lighter side, we have full coverage of the Golden Globes — from host Ricky Gervais' bawdy monologue, to Kate McKinnon's touching tribute to Ellen.

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


Trump doubles down on threat to hit Iranian cultural sites, says U.S. could impose 'very big' sanctions on Iraq

President Donald Trump dug in Sunday night on his threat to attack Iranian cultural sites if it should retaliate for the U.S. killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, one of Iran's top military and intelligence officials.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump said: "They're allowed to kill our people. They're allowed to torture and maim our people. They're allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people. And we're not allowed to touch their cultural sites. It doesn’t work that way."

Trump was responding to backlash over the threat he made via Twitter on Saturday to attack 52 targets, including some "at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture."

The Geneva Convention prohibits the targeting of "historic monuments" and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called the suggestion a "war crime" in his own Twitter response.

Trump was also defiant after the Iraqi Parliament voted to expel U.S. troops from the country. He said military personnel would not leave unless Iraq pays the U.S. for an air base there.

"We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build," Trump said. "We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it."

In Tehran on Monday, hundreds of thousands took to the streets as the country held a massive funeral for Soleimani, who was hailed as a martyr while crowds chanted "Death to America."

On Sunday, Iran announced that it was ending its commitment to limit enrichment of uranium as part of its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

While Trump had unilaterally pulled the U.S. out of the deal in May 2018, the other parties to the deal had tried to salvage it. Now Sunday's announcement leaves the agreement that took years to hammer out in tatters.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo defended the Trump administration's decision to kill the top Iranian general on NBC News' "Meet the Press" on Sunday.

America's top diplomat argued that the U.S. "would have been culpably negligent" if it hadn't launched the attack and that he was "100 percent" certain that America was safer because of the strike.

He said that the administration was prepared for a "little noise" from the Iranians in the "interim." (Video)

Despite fears of retribution, in Israel, America's closest ally in the region, many cautiously welcomed the strike on the man they considered a terrorist. "Soleimani had it coming," one Tel Aviv resident told NBC News.


D.C. gets back to business, here's what to expect

With Trump returning to Washington, D.C., after spending the holidays at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, the rest of the capital's political class is expected to get back to business today, too.

Lawmakers walk right into the face-off over Trump's impeachment trial. Here's a refresher on where things stand on the impeachment front.

But impeachment is far from the only big item on the congressional agenda this election year. Here's a rundown of some of the other issues expected to grab the spotlight in Congress this year.

And as far as the 2020 election goes, it's worth keeping an eye on Michael Bloomberg.

The former New York mayor isn't competing in the four early-state voting contests, but he's going big on Super Tuesday in March and beyond. The billionaire's campaign has hired 500 staffers in over 30 states to build out his ground game.

Impeachment is far from the only big item on the congressional agenda this election year. Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

Golden Globes 2020: Who won the golden statuettes, and all the night's big moments

"1917," Sam Mendes' searing portrait of World War I, and "Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood," Quentin Tarantino's love letter to the late 1960s, took home top honors at the 77th Golden Globe Awards on Sunday.

See the full list of Golden Globe winners here.

Ricky Gervais, the sharp-witted, foul-mouthed and unapologetically fiendish British comedian, was the show's host. He kicked it off with a biting monologue that earned a few laughs but mostly seemed to leave the crowd paralyzed.

The televised ceremony ran for just over three hours and featured a mix of ribald jokes, stirring speeches and stunning upsets. Here's a look at some of the key moments from Hollywood's second-biggest night.

We apologize, this video has expired.

Want to receive the Morning Rundown in your inbox? Sign up here.


Plus


THINK about it

Ricki Lake's hair loss photos sparked an overdue conversation about gender, baldness and beauty, Zeynep Yenisey writes in an opinion piece.


Live BETTER

From sleeping more to eating real food, here are nine wellness trends from the last decade you will see more of in the 2020s.


Quote of the day

"So women 18 to 118, when it is time to vote, please do so in your own-self interest."

Actor Michelle Williams defended "a woman's right to choose" and encouraged women to vote in 2020 during her Golden Globes acceptance speech.


One fun thing

Forget all the speeches, what looks did the stars rock on the Golden Globes red carpet? Check out all the glitz and glamour here.

Lady in Red: Actress Scarlett Johansson arrives for the 77th annual Golden Globe Awards at The Beverly Hilton hotel on Sunday.Valerie Macon / AFP - Getty Images

Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

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

If you'd like to receive this newsletter in your inbox, please sign up here.

Thanks, Petra