‘Start Here’: Anti-Trump protests planned in UK as Dems regroup after Mueller probe

It’s Tuesday, June 4, 2019. Let’s start here.

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1. London welcomes Trump

Massive protests are expected across London as President Donald Trump is set to meet with outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May.

The state visit comes at a sensitive moment for the U.K. because of Brexit, ABC News Senior Foreign Correspondent Ian Pannell says on “Start Here.”

“This isn’t just about saying, ‘Hey, we like you,’ this is also about any future deal that Britain desperately needs at a moment when it’s about to pull itself out of the European Union,” Pannell tells us.

On Monday night, Queen Elizabeth II hosted the president and first lady Melania Trump for a state banquet where she toasted the “special relationship” between the two nations.

2. Democrats regroup

Despite a flurry of calls from House Democrats for the president’s impeachment, leadership is standing firm on first building a case against Trump and getting voters on board.

The House Judiciary Committee is holding a series of hearings to lay out special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings. Faced with resistance from the Trump administration, and Mueller himself, to appear on Capitol Hill, Democrats have called on legal experts to testify, including John Dean, Richard Nixon’s former White House counsel and a star Watergate witness.

“They’re going to try and make their case, to build public support, to air all of Mueller’s findings,” ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce says. “Whether that’s going to be enough to get the public on board, that’s a really tall order.”

3. Motive for massacre?

Authorities in Virginia Beach still are trying to determine why 12 people were gunned down in a municipal building last week.

Officials on Monday released a short email written by suspected shooter DeWayne Craddock, a public utilities engineer, giving his two weeks’ notice just hours before the mass shooting. It read, in part: “It has been a pleasure to serve the City, but due to personal reasons I must relieve my position.”

Craddock died after engaging police in a gun fight.

It’s still early in the investigation, but there’s always a motive, according to John Cohen, a former acting undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security and an ABC News contributor: “It may not be something as clear cut as some ideological cause, but people do not go out and commit mass murder without some rationale.”

4. ‘Very potent message’

Amid heightened U.S.-Iran tensions, the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group’s deployment to the Middle East last month was prompted by U.S. intelligence that indicated Iran or its proxies were planning to attack American interests in the region.

“The threats are credible, and that’s why we are here,” Adm. John Wade, commander of the carrier strike group, told reporters allowed onto the ship on Monday.

ABC News Middle East Producer Matt McGarry tells “Start Here” he spoke to a number of sailors who are staying positive despite any potential hostilities.

“I think it’s … a very delicate game that’s being played now between Washington and Tehran,” McGarry says. “This USS Abraham Lincoln carrier battle group is certainly a very potent message.”

“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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From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:

James Holzhauer broke ‘Jeopardy!,’ but is broken so bad?: It was a historic run driven by immaculate trivia knowledge, disciplined strategy and calculated aggression.

Doff your cap:

Today we honor Emma Boettcher, the brilliant 27-year-old University of Chicago librarian who dethroned professional sports bettor James Holzhauer, 34, just as he was approaching Ken Jennings’ all-time “Jeopardy!” record of $2.52 million in career winnings.

Holzhauer, who finished $58,484 shy after averaging about $77,000 over 32 shows, high-fived Boettcher after her win.

“I lost to a really top-level competitor,” he told The New York Times. “She played a perfect game. And that was what it took to beat me.”

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