Day 883: "Cocked and loaded."
1/ Trump authorized a retaliatory military strike on Iran but called it off 10 minutes before because the response would not have been “proportionate.” The planned attack, ordered after Iranian forces shot down a Navy drone over the Strait of Hormuz, would have involved airstrikes and killed approximately 150 people. Officials said Trump had initially approved the attacks. Earlier, Trump tweeted that he was “cocked and loaded” for a strike, but later disputed that, claiming “nothing was green lighted.” (New York Times / New York Times / ABC News / NBC News / Wall Street Journal / Los Angeles Times / Bloomberg)
Putin said he’s open for a meeting with Trump, but that a U.S. military conflict with Iran would be a “catastrophe.” Putin added that he believed Iran was complying with its commitments to the Iran nuclear deal. Hours later, Trump tweeted that he was in “no hurry” to confront Iran and called off the planned airstrike. (Associated Press / ABC News)
The White House did not notify House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Trump’s plans to strike Iran. Pelosi is second in line to the presidency. (Washington Post)
Fox & Friends called Trump’s decision to abandon airstrikes against Iran a “weakness, and weakness begets more attacks.” Hosts Brian Kilmeade insisted that “North Korea’s watching. Turkey’s watching. Russia’s watching. China…” (Daily Beast)
Iran received a message from Trump via Oman warning that an attack on Iran was imminent. Iranian officials said Trump claimed he was “against any war with Iran and wanted to talk to Tehran about various issues.” They also said Trump “gave a short period of time to get our response but Iran’s immediate response was that it is up to Supreme Leader.” Another official said they would deliver Trump’s message to the Ayatollah, “however, we told the Omani official that any attack against Iran will have regional and international consequences.” (Reuters)
2/ Trump directed ICE to conduct a mass roundup of migrant families that have received deportation orders. The Sunday raids – dubbed the “family op” – will take place in as many as 10 cities and could target about 2,000 immigrants facing deportation orders. (Washington Post / NBC News)
ICE has deported more immigrants during the first eight months of this fiscal year than any full fiscal year of Trump’s presidency, but he has yet to match Obama’s early deportation numbers. ICE deportations fell to 226,119 in fiscal 2017 and then rose to more than 250,000 in fiscal 2018 before the Trump administration hit a high of 282,242 as of June this fiscal year. (Axios)
A legal team interviewed 60 children at a migrant detention facility near El Paso, TX and were told stories of neglect and mistreatment at the hands of the U.S. government. The lawyers warned that kids are forced to take care of other kids. There is also inadequate food, water, and sanitation for the 250 infants, children, and teens currently detained at the Border Patrol station. (Associated Press / NBC News)
3/ Trump threatened a Time magazine reporter with prison after a photographer tried to take a photo of the letter sent to him by Kim Jong Un. Trump showed four reporters the letter he said was “written by Kim Jong Un” and then he asked to go off-the-record. Later in the interview, the subject turned to Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 campaign, and instead of answering the question, Trump lashed out about the photographer’s attempt to take a shot of the letter from Kim. “Well, you can go to prison, instead, because if you use, if you use the photograph you took of the letter that I gave you…” (Time / CNN / Washington Post / Daily Beast)
4/ Trump rejected an allegation by journalist E. Jean Carroll that he sexually assaulted her in a Manhattan department store dressing room in the 1990s, saying that he has “never met this person in my life.” According to Carroll, she met Trump inside Bergdorf Goodman when he told her he was buying a gift for “a girl” and needed help. While in the lingerie section, Carroll said Trump suggested a lace bodysuit, and encouraged her to try it on. “The moment the dressing-room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly, and puts his mouth against my lips,” Carroll writes. “He seizes both my arms and pushes me up against the wall a second time, and, as I become aware of how large he is, he holds me against the wall with his shoulder and jams his hand under my coat dress and pulls down my tights.” More than a dozen women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct. Trump, meanwhile, said: “Shame on those who make up false stories of assault to try to get publicity for themselves, or sell a book, or carry out a political agenda.” (New York Magazine / Politico / Daily Beast)
5/ The House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena to Felix Sater after he failed to show up for a voluntary interview. The Russia-born business executive worked with Michael Cohen to build a Trump Tower in Moscow before the 2016 election. Trump never disclosed the ongoing Trump Tower Moscow negotiations while he was running for president and repeatedly claimed that he has “nothing to do with Russia.” Sater said he was feeling ill and slept through his alarm. (Politico / NBC News / Reuters / The Hill)
YESTERDAY: Sater said he “will answer every question without exception” and planned to discuss previously undisclosed details about his efforts to get a Trump tower built in Moscow. (Washington Post)
Federal prosecutors alleged that Roger Stone violated his gag order with recent social media posts. Stone was banned by Judge Amy Berman Jackson from making public statements about his case in February, after he posted on Instagram a photo of the judge with crosshairs behind her head. (CNN)
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