Trump revokes Brennan's security clearance

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced that President Donald Trump has revoked ex-CIA Director John Brennan's security clearance.

Posted: Aug 16, 2018 9:34 AM
Updated: Aug 16, 2018 9:48 AM

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1. White House

President Trump made good on his threat to strip away the security clearances of his critics in the intelligence community. The security clearance of ex-CIA Director John Brennan was revoked, an unprecedented use of presidential power to hit back at detractors. Brennan's been brutal in his takedowns of the administration's actions, but Trump, in a statement, said Brennan is a liar whose "frenzied commentary is wholly inconsistent with access to the nation's most closely held secrets."

Brennan responded by saying Trump is trying to muzzle free speech and punish critics. "I will not relent," he tweeted. The White House provided no evidence that Brennan has misused his security clearance since leaving government. Trump is still considering pulling the security clearances of several others, including former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former national security adviser Susan Rice. Top national security officials typically keep their clearances after leaving government so they can consult current officials on national security issues.

2. Clergy sex abuse

Pressure is mounting on Pope Francis to respond to the Pennsylvania grand jury report that details decades of sexual abuse of more than 1,000 children by hundreds of priests and bishops in the state, along with various cover-ups. The Vatican hasn't commented on the explosive report yet. A Villanova theology professor called the Vatican's silence "disturbing." The clergy sex abuse scandal is a growing crisis, with the Catholic Church forced to deal with abuse allegations around the globe that for many have meant lifetime trauma.

3. Turkey and Qatar

Turkey's getting some economic help in its spat with the US. The country nabbed a $15 billion investment from Qatar that will reportedly go toward economic projects, investments and deposits. It's a big lifeline that could bolster Turkey's economy as it tries to endure a rapidly growing trade tiff with the US. Relations between the US and Turkey -- a pair of NATO allies -- soured over Turkey's detention of an American pastor, whose second appeal for release was just rejected, his lawyer said. The diplomatic spat has led to dueling tariffs that have hurt the lira, the Turkish currency.

4. Migrant crisis

A rescue ship filled with migrants docked in Malta after being stuck in the Mediterranean for days while European countries fought over what to do about it. The 141 migrants left the ship, named the Aquarius, in a jubilant mood. France, Portugal, Luxembourg, Spain and Germany have agreed to take them in. They had been rescued late last week off the coast of Libya by the Aquarius. Despite a deal reached in June by EU nations to more widely share the burden of taking in refugees, Europe remains deeply divided over the migrant crisis.

5. Connecticut overdoses

Dozens of people overdosed on drugs at a downtown park in New Haven, Connecticut. Police said as many as 71 people overdosed on K2, a synthetic cannabinoid similar to marijuana. It's also often laced with other drugs. No one died, thankfully, though two people are in serious condition. Others who were treated and released from the hospital ended up needing treatment again -- because they had another overdose. The patients were of different ages and demographics. A police spokesman said this a nationwide drug problem that's "not going away."

TODAY'S NUMBER

80

The number of people killed after days of severe flooding in the state of Kerala in southern India. Kerala's under a red alert, the highest alert level, as tens of thousands have been forced from their homes and more heavy rain is expected in the coming days.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Class act

Teachers often have to buy their own classroom school supplies. Not these teachers in Kentucky, who were gifted $100 each by an anonymous donor.

Homeward bound

A Buddha statue stolen almost six decades ago is being returned to India, thanks to a CEO with a sharp eye.

Wonder women

India's first all-female SWAT team -- armed with assault rifles and martial arts training -- has hit the streets of New Delhi.

Eye of the beholder

Her doctor told her the swelling and pain in her eyelid was caused by a cyst. Turns out it was actually a 28-year-old contact lens. Yikes!

HAPPENING LATER

Land of the free (press)

Editorials in about 350 newspapers across the country today will make statements supporting the free press and criticize President Trump's attacks on the media.

TODAY'S QUOTES

"We're not going to make America great again. It was never that great."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, trying to make an argument about gender equality and taking a swipe at Donald Trump's famous catchphrase. The President, and a Republican rival hoping to unseat Cuomo in November, blasted him over it.

"Bees were after him the whole time, he said, so he killed them and ate them."

Linda Matheny, explaining how her son Matthew survived six days on Mount St. Helens after he got lost while hiking

AND FINALLY

Rapid rescue

Her dog decided those little ocean waves weren't safe enough for his little human, so he got her out of there. And she loved every second of it. (Click to view.)

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