What matters this morning with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos: Impeachment showdown

It’s Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. Here are the stories I’m following this morning. I’ll be breaking it all down with our team starting at 7 a.m. EST, on “Good Morning America.”

1. Taliban releases two hostages, including an American.

The Taliban say they have freed two hostages — identified as American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks — in southern Afghanistan after more than three years of captivity, according to The Associated Press.

My take: Breaking news just out a few minutes ago. The release of two hostages, including an American, in a trade with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Martha Raddatz is going to weigh in on that this morning.

2. White House releases doctor’s note for Trump’s Walter Reed visit.

President Trump’s unannounced visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center raised eyebrows this weekend and now the White House has released a note from President Trump’s physician. Navy Cdr. Sean Conley, physician to the president, says Trump’s visit was “for a routine, planned interim checkup.” Conley wrote that Trump “has not had any chest pain, nor was he evaluated or treated for any urgent or acute issues.”

My take: The White House took the unusual step to issue a statement from the president’s physician late last night denying any problems … Cecilia Vega is going to be here with that this morning because the whole trip was unusual in every way.

3. What will we learn from two White House aides’ new testimony?

In the first of five public hearings this week, four people are scheduled to testify before the House Intelligence Committee today: Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, of the National Security Council; Jennifer Williams, Vice President Mike Pence’s special adviser for Europe and Russia; former U.S. envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker; and Timothy Morrison, the NSC’s Russia expert. Vindman and Williams both listened in on President Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and have come under attack from the president for offering accounts to Congress.

My take: It’s day three of the impeachment hearings. Two big witnesses today, Col. Alexander Vindman and Jennifer Williams in the morning. Both [are] still working at the White House. Jennifer Williams [is] a longtime State [Department] official tasked to Vice President Pence. Alexander Vindman a member of the National Security Council who was alarmed when he was sitting in on that phone call between the president and President Zelenskiy in July. He’s been getting some rough treatment from Republicans, including Sen. Ron Johnson. We’ll get into that this morning as well.

Plus, Kate Shaw and Chris Christie are going to examine the president’s offer – maybe it was an offer – to testify in the impeachment hearing. Remember we heard that during the Mueller hearings as well. We’ll break that down this morning on “GMA.”

Tune into “Good Morning America” from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. EST, for full reporting on today’s biggest stories.

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