8:17 a.m. ET
President Trump’s senior policy adviser and speechwriter, Stephen Miller, is reportedly under consideration to fill the White House communications director job vacated by Anthony Scaramucci. An unnamed senior administration official told Axios Saturday Miller’s name is in play but not at the top of Trump’s short list. White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, with whom Miller is ideologically simpatico, reportedly supports putting Miller in a more communications-focused position.
Miller, 31, previously worked on Trump’s campaign and, before that, as then-Sen. Jeff Sessions’ aide; he is best known for his combative interview style and, this past week, his disavowal of the pro-immigration poem on the base of the Statue of Liberty. To get a taste of what the Miller communications era could be like, watch him in action on Sunday shows below. Bonnie Kristian
7:49 a.m. ET
The United Nations Security Council on Saturday voted to approve new, punitive sanctions against North Korea in retaliation for Pyongyang’s two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests this year.
The sanctions package, which passed with the support of China and Russia, focuses on export prohibitions and is expected to cut the country’s $3 billion annual export income by one third. President Trump celebrated to vote on Twitter Saturday evening:
The United Nations Security Council just voted 15-0 to sanction North Korea. China and Russia voted with us. Very big financial impact!
United Nations Resolution is the single largest economic sanctions package ever on North Korea. Over one billion dollars in cost to N.K.
Nikki Haley, the American ambassador to the U.N., also emphasized the historic import of the U.S.-drafted measure. “This resolution is the single largest economic sanctions package ever leveled against the North Korean regime,” she said. “This is the most stringent set of sanctions on any country in a generation.”
August 5, 2017
While President Trump begins his first official vacation in office, a 17-day “working vacation” at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, Russian President Vladimir Putin has also been vacationing — in Siberia. The Russian leader kept busy diving, hiking, and, as is his wont, releasing shirtless photos of his experiences:
“The water in the lake doesn’t get warmer than 17 degrees [Celsius, or 62 degrees Fahrenheit], but this didn’t stop the president from going for a swim,” said a Kremlin representative of Putin. “He went hunting underwater with a mask and snorkel … The president chased after one pike for two hours, there was no way he could shoot it, but in the end he got what he wanted.”
August 5, 2017
The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to vote Saturday afternoon on punitive sanctions against North Korea in response to Pyongyang’s two tests of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) technology that could potentially execute a nuclear strike on the U.S. mainland. If approved, the sanctions package will cut North Korean export incomes — currently about $3 billion annually —by one third.
The sanctions target North Korean exports of commodities including coal, iron, iron ore, lead, lead ore, and seafood. The measure would “also prohibit countries from increasing the current numbers of North Korean laborers working abroad, ban new joint ventures with North Korea and any new investment in current joint ventures,” Reuters reports.
North Korean allies Russia and China are expected to support the vote, which makes passage highly likely. The measure condemns Pyongyang’s nuclear program “in the strongest terms” and demands it be ended “in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner.”
August 5, 2017
HBO host Bill Maher on Friday sat down with Ralph Reed, formerly executive director of the Christian Coalition and currently chair of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, to ask why evangelical Christians are so supportive of President Trump despite what Maher perceives as some devilish tendencies.
“Why do you think Trump’s support among the evangelicals is so solid?” Maher said. “Because he does seem like the least Christian man ever.” Reed protested that though he did not initially expect to like Trump, he found the president’s “word was his bond” as their acquaintanceship progressed, specifically pointing to Trump’s nomination of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
“So what you’re saying is as long as he keeps his word to you, but lies to everybody else — because you can’t deny that he’s a giant liar,” Maher replied, adding, “Don’t you call Satan the ‘father of lies’? Isn’t that what he is? Isn’t that, like, a little name you have for him? So, Trump, giant liar. Satan, father of lies.” Reed replied by arguing that Trump, while imperfect, is the victim of selective outrage to which Democrat Hillary Clinton was immune in 2016.
Watch a clip of the conversation below. Discussion of Trump’s honesty begins around the 2:50 mark. Bonnie Kristian
August 5, 2017
Three U.S. Marines are missing after their plane crashed off the coast of Queensland, Australia, on Saturday, the Marine Corps has announced. The troops were flying in a Marine MV-22B Osprey when a “mishap” took the plane down. Of the 26 Marines on board at the time of the accident, 23 have been rescued already.
“Small boats and aircraft from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group are conducting the search and rescue operations,” said a statement from the military. Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said no Australian forces were involved and offered Australian assistance for the search.
Update Aug 6.: U.S. military officials have called off rescue efforts and no longer expect to find the missing Marines alive. Recovery and crash investigation operations will continue.
August 5, 2017
A Northwestern University professor, Wyndham Lathem, and a staffer from Britain’s Oxford University, Andrew Warren, were arrested by U.S. Marshals in Oakland, California, Friday after a national manhunt in connection to a murder in Chicago.
Lathem and Warren are both suspects in the stabbing death of Trenton Cornell-Duranleau, 26, a cosmetologist. The two men separately turned themselves in to Bay Area authorities.
Cornell-Duranleau was found dead in Lathem’s apartment in Chicago after what police described as “some type of falling out.” Warren’s connection to the situation is unclear.
August 5, 2017
President Trump defended National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster in a statement Friday evening, attempting to ward off right-wing criticism the official has attracted this week. “General McMaster and I are working very well together,” Trump said. “He is a good man and very pro-Israel. I am grateful for the work he continues to do serving our country.”
McMaster has come under fire for his dismissal of several National Security Council staff members; his approach to the war in Afghanistan; and his renewal of security clearance for former President Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice.
“McMaster has been undermining the president to the point of insubordination,” said Mike Cernovich, a controversial right-wing activist who runs McMasterLeaks.com, in a representative critique of the former general. “For example,” he continued, “McMaster has been pulling the security clearances of pro-Trump members of the NSC.”
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