It’s Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018. Thanks for choosing to start here.
Interested in Start Here Morning Briefing ?
Add Start Here Morning Briefing as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Start Here Morning Briefing news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
1. White House floats alternative funding options as shutdown looms
Earlier this week, all signs pointed to a government shutdown after Democrats said they were prepared to make a deal including $1.6 billion for border security — but zero for a border wall.
President Donald Trump said if they didn’t raise that number, he was happy to shut down the government.
ABC News Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran says momentum appeared to be building yesterday around a plan that would kick the can down the road — a short-term spending bill to maintain the status quo.
2. Michael Flynn’s sentencing delayed
Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser, was supposed to be sentenced on Tuesday for lying to the FBI, but his hearing took a dramatic turn after the judge expressed “disgust” over Flynn’s conduct.
Flynn’s legal team suggested the FBI hadn’t warned him that lying to federal agents is a felony, but Flynn admitted in court that he knew he was committing a crime. Judge Emmet Sullivan blasted Flynn for lying to investigators about his contact with the Russian ambassador.
“I’m not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offense,” Sullivan said.
Flynn’s attorney requested that the hearing be postponed. The judge agreed, and set a status update for March.
ABC News’ James Gordon Meek and Katherine Faulders both were in the courtroom and noted a “dramatic shift” in Flynn during the hearing.
“He walked into court,” Meek tells us, “thinking that this was going to be the start of his next chapter of his life … and that’s not what happened. It clearly was a blow, and he was stung by it, as were the people who were with him.”
3. Bump stocks finally banned … almost
The Trump administration on Tuesday moved to ban bump stocks, which effectively turn semi-automatic firearms into machine guns, after they were used in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
Gun owners will have until late March to destroy or forfeit the devices, which make it possible for certain guns to fire 800 rounds per minute.
At an Oct. 1, 2017, press conference, after 58 people were slaughtered at a concert in Las Vegas, Trump said he believed it would only take “two or three weeks” to ban bump stocks.
Yesterday’s announcement came 443 days after that.
4. Boring Co. unveils tunnel under Los Angeles
Elon Musk last night unveiled the test tunnel drilled by his construction firm, the Boring Co., for the proposed “hyperloop,” but will it solve Los Angeles’ notorious traffic jams?
ABC News Chief National Correspondent Matt Gutman was there for the demonstration.
‘Egregious pattern of illegality’: President Donald Trump’s charity agrees to dissolve itself as part of a lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood.
‘Hoping to spread some holiday cheer’: Two women in Florida are arrested for trying to deliver contraband to a state prison with a drone.
‘The intensity of this fire melted parts of their equipment’: Two sheriff’s officers in Texas are seen in bodycam footage pulling an unconscious man from a car that’s “fully engulfed in flames.”
‘Penny was a trailblazer’: Hollywood legend Penny Marshall dies at 75.
From our partners at FiveThirtyEight:
Martha McSally Will Probably Vote Like McCain In The Senate: If at first you lose a Senate race … hope for an appointment! Despite a narrow defeat in Arizona’s 2018 U.S. Senate race, Republican Rep. Martha McSally will still be headed to Congress’s upper chamber next year.
Bodycam video shows moment police breached Las Vegas shooter’s hotel room: Part 1: More a year after 58 died and hundreds were injured in the Las Vegas massacre, survivors, first responders and hotel security staff describe what happened.
Breaking down the Las Vegas massacre moment-by-moment: Part 2: After a 10-month-long police investigation, surveillance footage and 3D models pieced together show the shooter’s movements, and victims share how far they’ve come since that day.
On this day in history:
Dec. 19, 1998 — President Clinton is impeached.
The must-see photo:
A couple visit the “Shining a light on species” exhibition in the Jardin de plantes garden in Paris. (photo credit: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters)
For more great photos from around the world click HERE.
A homeowner got a big surprise when a Florida black bear was caught on camera ringing the front doorbell.
All right, you’re off and running. You can always get the latest news on ABCNews.com and on the ABC News app. Details on how to subscribe to the “Start Here” podcast are below.
See you tomorrow.
“Start Here” is the flagship daily news podcast from ABC News — 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. On Amazon Echo, ask Alexa to “Play ‘Start Here'” or add the “Start Here” skill to your Flash Briefing. Follow @StartHereABC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for exclusive content, show updates and more.