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Trump strips a former CIA director of his security clearance; no one wants to take the blame for a suicide attack at an Afghan school.
Brennan loses his in
- President Donald Trump officially stripped former CIA Director John Brennan of his security clearance, the eligibility to access classified national security information, on Wednesday. [The Hill / Brett Samuels and Morgan Chalfant]
- Press secretary Sarah Sanders announced Trump’s decision in a press briefing. She reasoned that Brennan was undeserving of the clearance because of his “frenzied commentary” and “erratic conduct and behavior.” [Slate / Matthew Zeitlin]
- But Brennan believes he lost the clearance simply because he spoke out against the Trump administration. He said Americans should “gravely worry” about Trump’s efforts to “suppress freedom of speech and punish critics.” [Twitter / John O. Brennan]
- Sanders also said the White House is considering revoking a number of other individuals’ security clearances as well, including former FBI Director James Comey and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates. Comey claimed last month that he was already stripped of that clearance. [Politico / Rebecca Morin]
- Sanders announced at the end of July that the president was thinking of taking away former officials’ security clearances because they’ve “politicized” and “monetized” their access. She also blamed “inappropriate” comments made about Trump’s relationship with Russia. [ABC]
- Mark Zaid, a national security attorney, fears that this expulsion could “set back the entire security establishment that we’ve created over the last 75 years.” [Vox / Jen Kirby]
- As of 2010, only 1 percent of people had their security clearances revoked or their request to obtain it denied. That figure is now likely to change. [Vox / Lindsay Maizland]
A deadly bombing at an Afghan school
- A suicide bomber attacked an education center in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday. At least 48 people are dead and 67 more injured. [BBC]
- It’s unclear who is to blame for the attack. The editor-in-chief at Afghanistan’s 1TV broadcaster believes the Taliban is trying to thwart responsibility by pinning the bombing on ISIS. [Al Jazeera]
- The bombing comes amid scores of Taliban-claimed attacks. Hundreds have fled their hometowns as fighting, which has killed hundreds of civilians and troops, continues between Afghan forces and the terrorist organization. [AP / Rahim Faiez and Amir Shah]
- The Taliban also withdrew its commitment to leave members of the International Red Cross out of the crossfire because they have not focused on the health of Taliban members who are held captive by Afghanistan. [Reuters]
- Attacks on schools — in particular girls’ schools — have resurfaced after decreasing about 10 years ago. [NYT / Najim Rahim and Jawad Sukhanyar]
- Former White House aide/Apprentice contestant Omarosa alleges in her new book that first lady Melania Trump intentionally wore her controversial “I really don’t care, do u?” jacket to “punish” the president. [Racked / Rebecca Jennings]
- Happy National Relaxation Day! Sit back, put a few cucumber slices over your eyes, and, perhaps, turn off your smartphone — even if just for a few minutes. [Mental Floss]
- Authorities thought a pet parrot was stranded on a roof in London because she was injured. But when firefighters came to the rescue, the potty-mouthed bird literally told them to “f**k off.” [Telegraph / Jamie Merrill]
- An ad for The Nun, a new horror movie, was so scary that YouTube had to remove it from its site. Give it a look ... if you’re not too chicken. [Variety / Tara Bitran]
“‘That photo was from before you cried,’ Kellyanne says. ‘Now I cry for other reasons,’ George mutters. Kellyanne pretends to ignore that comment, something she’s been doing a lot of lately.” [The Washington Post’s Ben Terris, recounting Kellyanne and George Conway discussing a photo from election night 2016, when George still supported Trump]
Watch this: Inside Hong Kong’s cage homes
When houses are the size of parking spaces. [YouTube / Johnny Harris]
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