Dec 6, 2019

Axios PM

By Mike Allen
Mike Allen

Good afternoon: Today's PM — edited by Justin Green — is 485 words, a 2-minute read.

⚡️"The White House signaled ... it did not intend to mount a defense of President Trump or otherwise participate in the House impeachment proceedings, in a sharply worded letter to Democrats." (N.Y. Times)

1 big thing: Mass shootings as international incidents

Photo: Josh Brasted/Getty Images

Saudi Arabia's government is in damage control mode after one of its citizens killed three Americans today at a U.S. naval air station in Pensacola, Florida.

  • King Salman called President Trump to "express his sorrow and grief," the Saudi embassy said in a statement today.
  • President Trump said in a tweet that Salman told him the shooter "in no way shape or form represents the feelings of the Saudi people."
  • The Saudis also pledged their security services to help with the investigation.

The big picture: The Saudis are U.S. allies, but it's been a troubled relationship. Americans will remember the number of Saudi nationals who were involved in planning and carrying out the 9/11 attacks.

  • Plus, it's been only about a year since Saudi agents killed American resident Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.

Today's suspect has been identified as Second Lt. Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, who reportedly used a handgun, the N.Y. Times reports.

  • Local law enforcement said Alshamrani was killed by a police officer.
  • He wounded eight other people in the attack, law enforcement said.

At least one House Republican wants this treated as terrorism.

  • “We can safely call this an act of terrorism, not an act of workplace violence," said Rep. Matt Gaetz, who represents the district that is home to the station.

And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suggested the Saudis will owe compensation.

  • “The government of Saudi Arabia needs to make things better for these victims, and I think they’re going to owe a debt here, given that this is one of their individuals."
Bonus: Revisiting history

Photo: Omar Marques/Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Poland's Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, walk by the main gate of the former Auschwitz concentration camp.

  • Merkel is visiting Auschwitz for the first time since she became chancellor 14 years ago.
2. What you missed
  1. More than 500 legal scholars and law professors signed a letter saying Trump has "engaged in impeachable conduct," and that lawmakers would be well within their rights to pursue impeachment. Go deeper.
  2. Mike Bloomberg told "CBS This Morning" that Bloomberg News' editorial staff will "just have to learn to live with" the organization's decision to extend its policy of not investigating him to all 2020 presidential Democrats. Video.
  3. Bernie Sanders released a new $150 billion plan to increase broadband internet access across the U.S. and break up what his campaign labels "internet service provider and cable monopolies." Go deeper.
  4. Elizabeth Warren is "in excellent health," according to a doctor's report released by her 2020 presidential campaign. Go deeper.
  5. 🎧Today's Pro Rata podcast is on Pete Buttigieg's tenure at the consulting firm McKinsey & Co., which he says he can't cite due to a nondisclosure agreement that the firm refuses to lift. Listen here.
3. 🎥 1 film thing

Al Pacino as Jimmy Hoffa (left) and Robert De Niro as Frank Sheeran in "The Irishman.” Image: Netflix via AP

Only 18% of Netflix viewers made it all the way through "The Irishman," the 3½-hour gangster epic, in one sitting, Bloomberg's Lucas Shaw writes:

  • "That’s not unusual for a Netflix feature. A similar number finished 'Bird Box,' and only 11% completed 'El Camino.'"
  • Many of us watch piecemeal.

“The Irishman,” which debuted last week, "was seen by 13.2 million U.S. viewers over its first five days," per Bloomberg:

  • "[I]t fell short of the 16.9 million attracted by 'Bird Box."
Mike Allen