The Daily Brief: Monday, August 7, 2017 (Short form)
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a broad crackdown on unauthorized disclosures of classified information Friday, warning both would-be leakers and the media as he demanded that the "culture of leaking must stop."
Referring to an "explosion'' of leaks since January, Sessions said the Justice Department has "more than tripled" the number of active leak investigations compared to the number pending at the end of the Obama administration.
Justice has already received nearly as many criminal referrals involving unauthorized disclosures of classified information than in the previous three years combined, Sessions said.
"I have this warning for would-be leakers: Don't do it," Sessions said. "I strongly agree with the president and condemn in the strongest terms the staggering number of leaks," he said. (Read more)
- Father God, we pray that You direct President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to be alerted to all those who have access to classified information to be exposed and their cover be removed in order to reveal who is leaking this information to the press and to the adversaries of President Trump. God, assign an angel from heaven to stand guard over all classified information so that no one can have access to this intelligence who is guilty of leaking classified information. These people are traitors and we call them out and ask that You have them removed. In the Name of Jesus we pray.
- "Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me. Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men." (Psalm 59:1-2)
2. DOJ warns the media could be targeted in crackdown on leaks - The Hill
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday announced a government-wide crackdown on leakers, which will include a review of the Justice Department's policies on subpoenas for media outlets that publish sensitive information.
At a press conference with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, Sessions announced that the Justice Department, FBI and government intelligence agencies will direct more resources into the investigations of government leaks and would prioritize prosecuting those that pass sensitive information along to the press or foreign officials.
Sessions said he had empowered his deputy director Rod Rosenstein and incoming FBI director Christopher Wray to oversee the classified leaks investigations and to monitor the progress of each case. The national security division of the Justice Department will prioritize cases involving unauthorized disclosures, Sessions said, and the departments "will not hesitate to bring lawful and appropriate criminal charges against those who abuse the public trust." (Read more)
- Father God, we thank You that the Justice Department is looking into these leaks and that they plan to prosecute the wrongdoers. We pray for great success as they seek to fulfill the law and uphold a sense of protocol in the executive branch of the government. We speak God's order into the practices of the intelligence organizations and a spirit of truth into all personnel of West Wing organizations. Please deliver our country from the talebearers.
- "The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly." (Proverbs 18:8)
3. Trump Lets Sessions Know He's Out Of Dog House - Daily Caller
Attorney General Jeff Sessions appears to be out of the dog house.
After weeks of speculation regarding Sessions' job security, President Trump took to Twitter - his preferred method of communication - to praise the attorney general on Saturday for cracking down on illegal leaks of classified information.
"After many years of LEAKS going on in Washington, it is great to see the A.G. taking action!" Trump wrote. "For National Security, the tougher the better!"
Sessions initiated on Friday a new crackdown on the flood of illegal leaks coming out of the executive branch.
"In the first six months of this administration, DOJ has already received nearly as many criminal referrals involving unauthorized disclosures of classified information as we received in the last three years combined," Sessions said at a press conference announcing the crackdown. (Read more)
- Father, we ask that You prevail upon Attorney General Jeff Sessions to be intensely dedicated to cracking down on illegal leaks of classified information for the complete length of his term in office. Our national security is of greatest importance. Continue to guide this man to be fully dedicated to his responsibility in his position. We pray in the Name of Jesus, amen.
- "For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, you shall diligently consider his place, and it shall not be." (Psalm 37:9-10)
4. Warner Wants Investigation Into Transcript Leaks - Daily Caller
Congress needs to investigate the "disgraceful" leaks of President Trump's private conversations with world leaders, a top Democratic senator said on Thursday. "A president of the United States, a governor would tell us they've got to be able to have confidential conversations," Virginia Sen. Mark Warner told The Daily Beast. "And I think it was disgraceful that those [came out]." Warner is the top ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. "Whether that is Intel or Judicial [committees] looking into it, somebody ought to," the senator told The Daily Beast.
The Washington Post published Thursday morning leaked classified transcripts of Trump's private conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia. The phone calls took place shortly after Trump's inauguration but were just now leaked to the Post. The transcripts showed Trump asking Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto not to speak to the press about the wall that Trump wants to build on the US-Mexico border.
Trump's phone call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was even more combative, as Trump complained about an agreement struck under the Obama administration for the US to take in 1,250 refugees from Australian detention centers. (Read more)
- Lord God, we pray that Your almighty power close the doors on every person who is responsible for unlawful leaks regarding President Trump's conversations with world leaders. Bind the evil works of darkness under the authority of the Blood of Jesus which will forever be recognized as the ultimate combative power against sin and evil. Release President Trump from the dark voices of his adversaries by protecting him with angels assigned to fight his battles. Remove from office anyone who is his enemy and replace them with those who will stand in truth and godly strength. In Jesus' great Name we pray.
- "For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the Lord upholds the righteous. The Lord knows the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be forever." (Psalm 37:17-18)
5. 53 House Democrats warn Jim Mattis: Trump transgender ban is an 'unconstitutional directive' - Washington Examiner
Dozens of House Democrats on Friday warned Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that he should not comply with President Trump's ban on transgender military service because it is an "unconstitutional directive." The group of 53 lawmakers, which included members of the Armed Services and Judiciary committees, sent Mattis and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford a letter saying the Supreme Court and federal courts have recognized that transgender citizens cannot be discriminated against based on sex and gender even in military affairs.
"We write to not only express our strong opposition to President Trump's recent tweets seeking to ban transgender individuals from the military, but to remind you not to comply with any unconstitutional directive which may ultimately be issued," according to the letter, which was signed by Armed Services ranking member Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., and Judiciary ranking member Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich.
Trump issued a sudden series of tweets July 26 saying that transgender troops would no longer be allowed to serve in any capacity in the military, saying that such service is costly and disruptive. "After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military," Trump wrote. "Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail."
The major policy announcement could reverse the decision last summer to allow open transgender service and caught most officials at the Pentagon and Capitol Hill off guard. Mattis had just delayed the deadline for the start of transgender recruiting until January amid lingering concerns over boot camp. (Read more)
- Lord, we see what confusion the enemy creates when people are deceived into believing lies about their sexuality. Please give our leaders insight into this so called "right" to rebel against how God created each one of us. Open the eyes of those who are pressuring the military to see that these individuals need spiritual and emotional counseling to overcome trauma and that they do not need to be accommodated in their dysfunction. We decree and declare that our laws shall not contradict the laws of God.
- "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord I sure, making wise the simple. The statues of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes." (Psalms 19:7-8)
6. US Envoy: Trump's Policies Have 'Dramatically Accelerated Progress' Against ISIS - Daily Caller
President Donald Trump called attention Saturday to the major gains U.S.-backed forces have made against the Islamic State, citing claims by a top American diplomat that the administration's polices are directly responsible for that success.
Brett McGurk, the Department of State's senior envoy to the anti-Islamic State coalition, said Friday that Trump's policies, including delegating decision-making to U.S. military commanders in the field, have "dramatically accelerated progress" against the militant group.
About a third of territory captured from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria since 2014 has been taken in the past six months, according to McGurk.
Trump publicized that assessment on Twitter, sharing The Washington Post's story, headlined, "Under Trump, gains against ISIS have 'dramatically accelerated.'" (Read more)
- Father, we praise Your holy Name for guiding President Trump with godly intelligence and strategies to combat, defeat and annihilate the destructive forces of ISIS and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. God bless Brett McGurk and all the U.S. Military commanders in the field who have made wise and dramatically effective decisions and who have carried out President Trump's policies. God, strengthen everyone fighting against ISIS until they are history. We claim Iraq and Syria to be delivered from their ungodly enemies and liberate them to acknowledge the Lord God Almighty and His saving power. In the Name of Jesus we pray.
- "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, 'All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth." (Matthew 28:18)
7. McMaster: Threat of North Korean nuclear weapon strike 'impossible to overstate' - Fox News
National security adviser H.R. McMaster said Saturday the threat of North Korea launching a nuclear weapon at the U.S. or another rival nation is "impossible to overstate" and repeated that a preemptive military strike remains an option. "It's impossible to overstate the danger associated with a rogue, brutal regime," McMaster told Hugh Hewitt on the conservative commentator's MSNBC TV show.
"Are we preparing a plan for a preventive war? . . . The president has been very clear that he's not going to tolerate North Korea being able to threaten the U.S. . . . So of course we have to provide all options to do that, and that includes a military option."
Still, he said the United States would like to resolve the situation "short of what would be a very costly war."
The retired Army general said President Trump has been "deeply briefed" on the strategy on North Korea. (Read more)
- Father, we ask wisdom for our leaders regarding North Korea. Give us a plan that would avoid war. You have all the answers so we look to You for a solution.
- The eyes of all look to you, and you give them your food at the proper time. (Psalm 145:15)
8. North Korea's 'No. 2' official strengthens ties with Iran as UN hits Pyongyang with new sanctions - CNBC
Amid new international sanctions, North Korea's "No. 2" official embarked on a 10-day visit to Iran, a move that could result in the two sides expanding their ties. Iran's official IRNA news agency reported Kim Yong Nam, chairman of the Supreme Assembly of North Korea, arrived Thursday for the weekend inauguration ceremony for Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
But given the head of North Korea's parliament is expected to stay for 10 days in Iran, the trip is being seen as a front for other purposes, including expanding military cooperation. At the same time, Pyongyang is looking for ways to counter sanctions and to boost the hard currency for the dynastic regime led by Kim Jong Un.
Kim Yong Nam's visit coincided with a move by the United Nations Security Council to slap sanctions that bar exports of North Korean coal, lead, iron ore and seafood. The new restrictions could slash the hermit regime's roughly $3 billion annual export revenue by one third. The U.S.-sponsored resolution, which passed unanimously, followed the North's second intercontinental ballistic missile launch last month. It also curbs the number of North Korean laborers working abroad and clamps down on new economic joint ventures with Pyongyang. (Read more)
- Father, we pray against these alliances between North Korea and Iran. Bring confusion to their ideas and plans that would bring harm to other nations. In Jesus Name.
- Confuse, O Lord, divide their tongues, For I have seen violence and strife in the city. (Psalm 55:9)
9. Trump: US-Russia relations are at 'dangerous low' - BBC
US President Donald Trump says his country's relationship with Russia is at a "dangerous low", amid a feud with Congress over new sanctions imposed against Moscow. Mr Trump approved the measure on Wednesday, despite calling it "flawed". Russia said the new sanctions were tantamount to declaring a "full-scale trade war". (Read more)
- Father, we come to You first of all and pray for our government leaders. Wisdom and might belong to You. We humble ourselves before You and look to You for peace in the midst of turmoil. We intercede over this all time low relationship with Russia. Our government has many hard decisions ahead of them, and we pray thy kingdom come, thy will be done in every decision.
- For the kingdom [is] the LORD'S: and he [is] the governor among the nations. (Psalm 22:28)
10. Senate committee passes legislation cutting aid to PA - Israel National News
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday passed the Taylor Force Act, which would cut U.S. funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) until it stops payments to terrorists and their families.
The bill passed the committee by a 17 to 4 vote, reported The Washington Free Beacon. It was supported by all of the Republican members of the committee and six of the Democrats. The bill would cut off U.S. aid to the PA until it ends its policy which distributes $300 million to terrorists and their families annually.
The bill is named after Taylor Force, a former United States Army officer who was murdered in a stabbing attack in 2016, while walking along the Jaffa boardwalk. (Read more)
- Father, we thank You for guiding the Senate committee to pass the Taylor Force Act. We pray there be zero funding given to the Palestine Authority who have supported terrorist murderers who are responsible for massive bloodshed. God, cut off all funding to them and seal it with the Blood of Jesus. God, forgive America for contributing to these ungodly heartless heathens. In Jesus' powerful Name we pray.
- "Whoso sheds man's good, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He man." (Genesis 9:6)