ABOUT THIS EPISODE
1/ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of having carried out an "act of war" with strikes on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. Trump, however, pushed back against American military response in the Middle East, saying wars are "very easy to start," but that "there are many options. There's the ultimate option and there are options a lot less than that." U.S. military leaders have, however, presented Trump with a range of options for a retaliatory strike against Iran, including a cyber attack or a strike on Iranian oil facilities. Another option includes a strike by Saudi Arabia, with the U.S. providing intelligence, targeting information, and surveillance capabilities, but the U.S. refraining from actually firing any weapons. Other options include strikes on missile launch sites, bases, or other assets of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. There are currently no indications that any U.S. military action is imminent. Pompeo was scheduled to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the attack and "coordinate efforts to counter Iranian aggression in the region." (New York Times / CNN / NBC News / NBC News)
2/ Trump directed Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin "to substantially increase" U.S. sanctions on Iran. Trump's comment came after Iranian news agencies reported that Iran had warned the U.S. that it would retaliate against any attacks. Trump later told reporters that his administration will "be adding some very significant sanctions" on Iran within the next two days and that he's got time to devise a "dastardly" response to the attacks on Saudi oil facilities. (Washington Post / Politico / NBC News / Bloomberg)
3/ The White House fired the Department of Homeland Security's general counsel. John Mitnick will be replaced by Joe Maher, principal deputy general counsel. Mitnick's job was to push back against policies that could put Homeland Security in a legally dubious position, such as the time the White House proposed releasing migrants into sanctuary cities to send a message to Democrats who opposed his immigration agenda. Mitnick was fired in part due to his opposition to Stephen Miller and his immigration policies. (New York Times / CNN)
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4/ The acting director of national intelligence refused testify before Congress or hand over a whistleblower complaint to lawmakers. The complaint was submitted on Aug. 12 by ...