'Start Here': Trump's Homeland Security purge, Attorney General William Barr's Capitol Hill grilling

Here's what you need to know to start your day.

It's Tuesday, April 9, 2019. Let's start here.

1. 'Housecleaning'

President Donald Trump's purge of the Department of Homeland Security continued Monday with the firing of Secret Service Director Randolph Alles less than 24 hours after DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced her resignation.

Despite the administration's aggressive immigration tactics, the U.S. is still seeing a record surge of migrants at the border, which has frustrated the president and led to this DHS "housecleaning," ABC News Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran tells "Start Here."

"He's taken control of this department, and he is driving toward a much harder line," Moran says. "We are hearing there will be more top officials out by the end of the week as the entire department leadership is restructured."

2. Barr and grill

Attorney General William Barr will be on Capitol Hill today and questioned by House Democrats seeking full access to special counsel Robert Mueller's report and answers about Barr's conclusions about Mueller's conclusions.

Sources say the attorney general wants to avoid fireworks at the budget hearing, according to ABC News' Mike Levine, so Barr likely will highlight the Department of Justice's work outside the Russia investigation, including efforts on immigration and reducing violent crime.

3. Whatever Bibi wants?

Israeli voters are headed to the polls for parliamentary elections that have become a referendum on Benjamin Netanyahu, who's seeking his fifth term as prime minister.

He's being challenged by Benny Gantz, a former military chief of staff, who's pitched himself as a centrist alternative to Netanyahu and his decade of right-wing leadership.

Although it's a tight race, the incumbent Bibi may still have the upper hand, ABC News' Jordana Miller reports from Jerusalem.

"Even if Netanyahu ties -- even if he comes short one or two seats -- he still has the political partners who will join forces with him and help him form a ruling coalition," Miller says on today's podcast. "And that's who really wins the prime minister's office."

4. 'A basic reality'

The Trump administration has designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a military branch of the Iranian government, as a foreign terrorist group, a move that allows the U.S. to criminally prosecute anyone who provides "material support" to the organization.

"The Trump administration is simply recognizing a basic reality," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. "The IRGC masquerades as a legitimate military organization, but none of us should be fooled. It regularly violates the laws of armed conflict and plans, organizes and executes terror campaigns all around the world."

It's the first time part of a foreign government has been designated as a terrorist organization, and there are concerns Iran could retaliate, particularly against U.S. diplomats and service members in the region, ABC News' Conor Finnegan tells us.

"Start Here," ABC News' flagship podcast, offers a straightforward look at the day's top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or the ABC News app. Follow @StartHereABC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for exclusive content and show updates.


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A new episode of "The Investigation" drops today.

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Listen to the full show ...

... and read the full transcript of the interview.