Good morning, NBC News readers.
An intelligence officer's whistleblower complaint leads to the Oval Office, Justin Trudeau apologizes for brownface photo, and taxpayers spent nearly $200,000 at the president’s Scotland resort.
Here's what we're watching this morning.
Trump phone call at center of whistleblower complaint, source says
The whistleblower complaint that has sparked a confrontation between the U.S. intelligence community and Congress involves a phone conversation had by President Donald Trump, a former U.S. intelligence official familiar with the matter confirmed to NBC News on Wednesday night.
The Washington Post, citing two former U.S. officials familiar with the matter, first reported that the complaint was made by an intelligence official troubled by a promise Trump made during communication and interaction with a foreign leader.
The fact that the complaint had been filed by an intelligence official was known — and has been the subject of an increasingly acrimonious standoff between the acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff. But the subject of the complaint had been a closely guarded secret.
It was not immediately clear which foreign leader Trump was speaking with or what he pledged to deliver, The Post reported. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Justin Trudeau says he is 'really sorry' after brownface photo emerges
A 2001 photo shows that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau darkened his face dramatically as part of a costume for an "Arabian Nights"-themed gala, a spokesperson for Trudeau’s party confirmed to NBC News.
"It was something I didn't think was racist at the time, but now I recognize it was something racist to do, and I am deeply sorry," Trudeau told reporters.
Condemnation of the Liberal Party leader, who is up for re-election in October, was swift.
Trudeau was already facing a tough campaign as a corruption scandal swirls around his administration.
Pompeo calls Saudi oil field attack an 'act of war'
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday accused Iran of perpetrating an "act of war" after weekend strikes on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, saying the attack had the "fingerprints of the Ayatollah."
Pompeo, whose comments Wednesday marked an escalation of U.S. rhetoric on Iran, planned to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the attack and "coordinate efforts to counter Iranian aggression in the region," according to the U.S. Mission to the United Arab Emirates.
Iran has denied involvement and insisted the attack came from Yemeni forces.
However, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif promised "all-out war" in the event of any military strike on his country by the U.S. or Saudi Arabia.
Meantime, the President Donald Trump's recently ousted national security adviser John Bolton criticized the administration at a private luncheon in New York City on Wednesday.
Bolton attacked the president's willingness to meet with the Taliban at Camp David days before the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, as well as his handling of Iran and North Korea, a person who attended the event told NBC News.
How to save a glacier: Iceland’s scientists offer hope with carbon capture technology
All of Iceland's glaciers are expected to melt within 200 years.
Given that urgency, mitigating climate change is “one of the top priorities of the government,” Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, Iceland’s environment minister, told NBC News. “We need to scale up our efforts and step up our game when it comes to solving the climate crisis.”
Environmentalists are hopeful that an innovative carbon-capture technique developed there could help mitigate the impact of global warming, NBC News' Richard Engel reports.
As part of NBC's weeklong "Climate in Crisis" series, MSNBC's Chris Hayes and Ali Velshi will moderate “Climate Forum 2020,” a two-day forum featuring 2020 Presidential candidates speaking with young voters on climate change. The forum will be streamed live on NBC News Now, MSNBC.com and Telemundo, with special coverage across MSNBC cable.
‘Please don’t take him from me’: Parents accuse pediatricians of wrongly blaming kids’ injuries on abuse
Child abuse pediatricians aim to protect vulnerable children. But some of these doctors have also implicated parents who appear to have credible claims of innocence, leading to traumatic family separations and questionable criminal charges, an investigation by NBC News and the Houston Chronicle has found.
“It’s important that physicians approach these cases with humility,” said Dr. Eli Newberger, who helped lay the groundwork for the modern field of child abuse pediatrics.
“Otherwise they risk making a mistake.”
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- The Pentagon told Congress that visits to Trump's Scotland resort cost nearly $200,000 between 2017 to 2019.
- Attorney General William Barr claimed some male students are "sacrificed to the mob" in college sexual assault cases.
- Sandy Hook parents unveiled a chilling "back to school" PSA on Wednesday, showing how kids could be forced to use ordinary possessions to fend off active shooters.
- "Unidentified aerial phenomena": The Navy confirmed videos captured UFO sightings, but called them by another name.
- Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg called on Congress to "listen to the scientists."
THINK about it
Sen. Elizabeth Warren's selfie with my daughter went viral because pinkie promises mean something, Abby K. Wood writes in an opinion piece.
Like David Bowie and Prince before him, Ric Ocasek's death sent writer Vivian Manning-Schaffel down a rabbit hole of grief and nostalgia. It left her wondering who exactly she was mourning? Ocasek? Or her youth?
Quote of the day
"All it took was one doctor’s opinion, and it almost destroyed my family."
— Tim Timmerman, who was accused by Texas Child Protective Services of inflicting shaken baby syndrome on his infant son. The case was dropped after he spent seven months and $200,000 defending himself.
One fun thing
Carson King was joking when he held up a sign asking for beer money during a college football pre-game show.
When cash started flowing into his Venmo account, the 24-year-old decided to donate it — minus the cost of a case of beer — to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
He’s raised thousands so far with help from Busch Beer and Venmo.
Cheers to that!
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