The Note: Democrats compete in transparency primary

President Trump has declared himself to be the "most transparent" president.

The TAKE with Rick Klein

President Donald Trump has declared himself to be the "most transparent" president in history.

That's not true -- not when measured by tax returns, or White House press briefings, or by cooperation with investigations up to and including the impeachment inquiry that's reaching the drafting stage on Capitol Hill.

But it's a title Trump's Democratic challengers are suddenly competing over. Mayor Pete Buttigieg announced on Monday that he will open up his fundraisers to reporters, just hours before his former employers at McKinsey acceded to his request that he be allowed to disclose the clients he worked for last decade.

That came after Buttigieg was attacked by Sen. Elizabeth Warren on those topics. Warren herself in recent days released additional details of her private legal work, in addition to the results of her medical exam.

Candidates are framing their actions as reactions to Trump, whose defiance of norms that once seemed non-controversial has become part of his political identity. Trump will surely jump on any freshly revealed details, just as he did regarding a certain, infamous DNA test.

Still, transparency is contagious. Several older candidates will be under more pressure on issues of health and even non-wealthy candidates will be pressed to detail sources of their income -- particularly if questions from voters roll in.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

The closing arguments were presented on Monday to a dais of members who already seemed to have their minds made up. That means that while a historic impeachment of the president looks inevitable, so does a party-line vote on the issue.

Republicans this week have continued to argue that Democrats do not have goods to prove a crime or the president's intent. Democrats have pointed to Rudy Giuliani‘s most recent trip to Ukraine this month as evidence that impeachment is needed as an urgent deterrent, as much as a punishment.

"President Trump's persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger to our free and fair elections and to our national security," Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman said Monday.

The TIP with Molly Nagle

As the impeachment inquiry enters a new phase this week, former vice president Joe Biden's patience seems to be wearing thin on questions about his son's work in Ukraine and his own possible involvement in a Senate impeachment trial.

In several interviews during his "No Malarkey" but tour across Iowa, Biden's frustration has been thinly concealed when he answers questions on the topics. He's consistently said there is no evidence of wrongdoing by him or his son, despite lingering questions about the optics of Hunter Biden's work in Ukraine while his father was vice president and the threat of subpoenas from Republican lawmakers in a possible Senate trial.

This comes on the heels of Biden's testy exchange with a man at an Iowa town hall -- an interaction that's garnered more than 2.7 million views on one Twitter video. In an exclusive interview with ABC News, Dr. Jill Biden defended her husband's response.

"I think any mother or father watching ... will say if someone attacked my child, I would speak up, and that's what Joe did, and I would expect nothing less of him as a father," she said.


FBI Director Christopher Wray on Monday undercut a theory pushed by President Donald Trump and some of his Republican allies that the government of Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election. "We have no information that indicates that Ukraine interfered with the 2016 presidential election," Wray told ABC News in an exclusive broadcast interview on Monday.


ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Tuesday morning's episode features ABC News Senior Congressional correspondent Mary Bruce, who tells us the moments that mattered in Monday's House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing. Then, ABC News Senior Justice correspondent Pierre Thomas talks about his exclusive interview with FBI Director Christopher Wray following the release of the Inspector General's report into the origins of the Russia investigation.

ABC News' "The Investigation" podcast. As the impeachment inquiry continues with committee counsels testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, former Republican counsel for the House Oversight Committee during the impeachment of President Clinton, Barbara Comstock, joins "The Investigation." Comstock, a former congresswoman from Virginia and now an ABC News contributor, reveals what she called "an odd thing for Republicans to be saying" when it comes to the impeachment process and shares her theory as to why she believes the American public is not engaged. Then, co-hosts Chris Vlasto and John Santucci discuss ABC News Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas' exclusive interview with FBI Director Wray, as all eyes turn to the FBI with the release of the Department of Justice Inspector General's report into the origins of the Russia investigation.

FiveThirtyEight's "Politics Podcast." In this installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast, the crew previews the official FiveThirtyEight polling averages for the 2020 Democratic primary, including how the race looks nationally and in the early states. Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders have both been incredibly steady in the polls, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Mayor Pete Buttigieg have moved in opposite directions. The team also looks back at the "14 Versions Of Trump's Presidency, From #MAGA To Impeachment" in order to gauge how President Donald Trump's tenure is going.


  • President Donald Trump meets with Russia's minister of foreign affairs at 2:30 p.m. and later he travels to Pennsylvania to speak at a campaign rally in Hershey at 7 p.m.
  • Vice President Mike Pence travels to Pennsylvania to speak at a Veterans for Trump event at 10:30 a.m. in Rochester and then he will speak at the campaign rally with the president in Hershey.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi delivers remarks at Politico's Women Rule Summit in Washington beginning at 8 a.m.
  • Marianne Williamson delivers remarks at “Grounds for Celebration” in Des Moines at 9 a.m. She then hosts “A Conversation with Marianne” in Fairfield, Iowa, at 4 p.m.
  • Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., participates in a roundtable with Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy in Manchester, New Hampshire, at 10:30 a.m. He then takes a tour of Nashua Housing Authority Units and Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter in Nashua, New Hampshire, at 2 p.m.
  • Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro hosts a meet-and-greet event in Ottumwa, Iowa, at 11 a.m. He then participates in a town hall in Des Moines at 5 p.m.
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., leads a town hall in Las Vegas at 11:15 a.m. Later, he participates in a community meeting in Las Vegas at 3 p.m.
  • Tom Steyer attends a press conference at Allen University in Columbia, South Carolina, at noon.
  • Former Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., participates in the “10,000 Small Business” candidate forum at 2:30 p.m. in Manchester, New Hampshire.
  • Andrew Yang makes stops in Des Moines, Grinnell and Iowa City, Iowa, during his “A New Way Forward” bus tour beginning at 3 p.m.
  • Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick visits the Governor’s School for Science & Mathematics in Hartsville, South Carolina, at 3:45 p.m. He then participates in a meet-and-greet event in Hartsville in 6 p.m.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., hosts a town hall in Reno, Nevada, at 5 p.m.
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, hosts a town hall in Concord, New Hampshire, at 5:30 p.m.
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