Michael Flynn apparently forgot to include a trip to the Middle East to explore nuclear power on his security clearance forms
President Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, explored building nuclear power plants across the Middle East in 2015 — yet another detail that was left out during his security clearance screening, The Associated Press reports. Flynn was fired after just weeks on the job when it was revealed he had lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his meeting with the Russian ambassador. Flynn was also discovered to have accepted money from foreign governments, including Turkey, without following the proper legal process.
Flynn's former business associates disclosed the Mideast trip to lawmakers. Flynn reportedly had contact with Israeli and Egyptian government officials as part of the 2015 trip, and House Democrats are now pushing to learn if he met with representatives from any other nations. His travel was reportedly on the behalf of ACU Strategic Partners, but the proposal to build reactors seemingly never went beyond planning stages.
In his security clearance questionnaire, Flynn would have been specifically required to list any meetings abroad or with foreign government officials over the past seven years, The Associated Press notes. Flynn had his security clearance renewed in 2016, being the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and apparently listened to sensitive intelligence briefings with Trump as late as January 2017.
Regarding Flynn's Middle East trip, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) wrote: "It appears that General Flynn violated federal law by omitting this trip and these foreign contacts from his security clearance renewal application in 2016 and concealing them from security clearance investigators who interviewed him as part of the background check process." Read the full report at Bloomberg, and more about why Trump is so intensely obsessed with protecting Flynn here at The Week. Jeva Lange
Jimmy Kimmel read Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) the riot act on Tuesday's Jimmy Kimmel Live, explaining how Cassidy lied to him when he promised to support a bill that protects people with pre-existing conditions. On Wednesday, Cassidy sadly shook his head and said Kimmel just doesn't understand the bill, prompting a Politico analysis with the headline: "Kimmel, not Cassidy, is right on health care, analysts say." Kimmel tweeted that story out, but did not mention it Wednesday night's show. He did, however, push back against some high-profile personalities who dismissed his critique of the Graham-Cassidy bill as uninformed.
Cassidy "either doesn't understand his own bill or he lied to me, it's as simple as that," Kimmel said, giving a short but pretty cogent rundown of some problems with the legislation. On CNN, Cassidy "played the all-comedians-are-dummies card," Kimmel said, but "could it be, Sen. Cassidy, that the problem is that I do understand and you got caught with your GOPenis out?"
"I don't want to turn this into a Kanye-and-Taylor Swift type situation," he said, but Cassidy came on his show, promised he would oppose any bill that didn't meet his "Jimmy Kimmel Test," then sponsored what is, "by many accounts, the worst health-care bill yet," a point Kimmel illustrated by showing an MLB pitch to the nuts. He got a little personal with Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade, Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.), and — in a backhanded-complimentary way — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who does bear some resemblance to Kimmel's Grandma Jane.
President Trump is all-in on the bill, but Kimmel said Trump only cares about defeating ObamaCare. "Can you imagine Donald Trump actually sitting down to read a health-care bill?" he asked. "It's like trying to imagine a dog doing your taxes — it just doesn't compute, you know? But I don't necessarily blame him. I did more homework this week than all my years of college combined. This health-care bill, it's confusing, especially for people who aren't experts in the field." So he tried to make it easier to understand by imagining himself as a customer at a coffee shop where the GOP Senate was a terrible barista. He ended by noting that while people "liked" his monologue from yesterday, they didn't flood phone lines, so he put up the numbers for five key GOP senators. Watch below. Peter Weber
While walking along the water in Laguna Beach, California, Alex Noble stepped on something hard. Thinking it was a rock, he bent over to take a closer look — and discovered it was a camera, caked in sand.
Noble brought it to his girlfriend's brother, who was able to recover 172 pictures from the battered device. The photos were of a wedding, and hoping to find the couple, they uploaded the pictures to Facebook. Soon, they heard good news from a friend of a friend: the couple in the pictures were newlyweds Heather and Kole, high school sweethearts who married in Laguna Beach two months earlier.
After their ceremony, Heather, Kole, and their guests placed all of their belongings on a sea wall. A big wave came in and pulled everything into the sea; Heather and Kole jumped into the ocean, trying to get the camera with their wedding pictures, but couldn't find it. Heather and Kole were shocked when they heard the camera had been found, and thankful. "There are not enough words to say how grateful we are," Heather told Inside Edition. Catherine Garcia
Football star turned actor Bernie Casey died Tuesday in Los Angeles, following a brief illness, his representative told The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday. He was 78.
Known for roles in Boxcar Bertha, Never Say Never Again, Revenge of the Nerds, and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Casey was also a poet, writer, director, and painter whose work appeared in art galleries around the world. Born in 1939 in West Virginia, Casey was raised in Ohio and went to Bowling Green on a football scholarship; later in life, he returned to the school and earned a master's in fine arts. He excelled on the football team, and went on to spend nearly 10 seasons with the NFL, starting with the San Francisco 49ers, then unexpectedly retiring as a member of the L.A. Rams while he was still in his prime. Casey said he retired in order to devote more time to acting, painting, and poetry.
In addition to his film roles, Casey also appeared in several television programs and made-for-TV movies. A champion of the arts, he received an honorary doctorate from the Savannah College of Art and Design, where he served as chairman of the board for many years, and fans of his painting included Maya Angelou. In 2003, the famed poet said Casey "has the heart and the art to put his insight on canvas, and I am heartened by his action. For then I can comprehend his vision and some of my own. His art makes my road less rocky, and my path less crooked." Catherine Garcia
An Oklahoma City police officer shot and killed a deaf man carrying a metal pipe on Tuesday night, despite neighbors screaming that he couldn't hear commands to drop the pipe.
Police Capt. Bo Mathews said Magdiel Sanchez, 35, was Tasered and then shot after he approached officers while holding the pipe; a neighbor told The Associated Press that Sanchez would take the pipe with him while going on walks at night to scare away stray dogs. Officers were at Sanchez's home investigating a hit-and-run that allegedly involved his father. Sanchez was not in the vehicle when the hit-and-run took place, Mathews said, and he had no criminal record.
The 2-foot-long pipe was "wrapped in some type of material" and had a leather loop at the end, Mathews said. Lt. Matthew Lindsey considered the pipe a weapon, and called for backup, Matthews said. After Sgt. Chris Barnes arrived, they both ordered Sanchez to drop the pipe and get to the ground, but Sanchez, not hearing their commands, kept walking forward. Neighbors screamed that Sanchez was deaf and yelled "He can't hear you," Mathews said, but he wasn't sure if officers heard them. "When you have a weapon out, you can get what they call tunnel vision," Mathews said. "Or you can lock into just the person who has the weapon, the threat against you."
Barnes shot Sanchez when he was 15 feet away, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Sanchez's father, whose name has not been released, confirmed to police that his son was deaf. The case is being investigated as a homicide, and Barnes has been placed on paid administrative leave, Mathews said. The officers were not wearing body cameras during the incident. Catherine Garcia
As part of Drake University's national day of service, students, staff, and alumni, as well as other volunteers, grabbed hammers, nails, and wood and got to building tiny houses that will be used to shelter the homeless.
Drake teamed up with Joppa, a nonprofit that assists the homeless in Des Moines, to build the tiny houses, which will be placed in a community Joppa is designing. The houses are just 100 square feet, and the goal is to let a homeless person move in so they don't have to worry about their living accommodations as they search for work.
Drake's football team started things off by building the bases, and the homes were finished by campus groups, staff, alumni, and friends of the university last weekend. "This feels like a very tangible solution," Alex Ghekas, a junior at Drake University, told The Des Moines Register. "Each house we build will take someone off the streets and give them somewhere to go." Catherine Garcia
While he was still serving as Donald Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort sent an email to a Kiev-based employee of his consulting business requesting he tell a Russian billionaire with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin that if he wanted "private briefings" on the presidential race, Manafort would set it up, several people familiar with the emails told The Washington Post.
Emails on the subject are part of the tens of thousands of documents now in the possession of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team. The emails are very vague, and no exact name is ever used, but investigators believe they are referring to Oleg Deripaska, an aluminum magnate and one of the richest men in Russia. There is no evidence Deripaska ever received the message or any briefings, but investigators think this shows Manafort was ready to use his proximity to Trump for his own benefit, several people told the Post.
The Wall Street Journal reports that it has been difficult for Deripaska to get visas to come to the U.S. because he might have ties to organized crime in Russia, something Deripaska denies. Deripaska has paid Manafort as an investment consultant, and in 2014 took him to court in the Cayman Islands, accusing Manafort of taking nearly $19 million in money set aside for investments and being unable to tell him what he did with the money or where it is. Read more about Manafort and Deripaska's relationship at The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia
On Wednesday, Mediaite published leaked outtakes from the filming of MSNBC anchor Lawrence O'Donnell's show on Aug. 29, 2017. The resulting eight-minute-long montage isn't pretty.
In the collected clips, O'Donnell can be seen getting absolutely irate at his staff over an apparent equipment malfunction, muttering cuss words under his breath and demanding to know who's to blame. "There's insanity in the control room tonight," O'Donnell says, twitching with anger.
When it happens again, O'Donnell appears even more irritated. "You have insanity in my earpiece," O'Donnell says, noting that he can hear someone talking and other background noise in his earpiece. He drops the F-bomb.
After it happens yet again, O'Donnell absolutely loses it. "Stop the hammering," he screams. "Stop the hammering out there. Who's got a hammer? Where is it? Where's the hammer? Go up on the other floor. Somebody go up there and stop the hammering. Stop the hammering. I'll go down to the goddamned floor myself and stop it, keep the goddamned commercial break going. Call f--king [MSNBC President] Phil Griffin. I don't care who the f--k you have to call. Stop the hammering. Empty out the goddamned control room and find out where this is going on."
He proceeds to crumple up pieces of paper and throw them to the ground while swearing.
In the next outtake, O'Donnell continues to curse. He berates his staff for nearly two minutes over an apparent slip-up. "I told you why I wanted those f--king words cut. It just f--king sucks, it f--king sucks to be out here with this out of control sh-t," O'Donnell screams.