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rui_noronha/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump on Tuesday night told supporters at a rally in Phoenix that “clean coal” was back. Only his description of "clean coal" was scientifically wrong.

"We've ended the war on beautiful, clean coal and it's just been announced that a second brand new coal mine where they're going to take out clean coal - meaning they're taking out coal, they're
going to clean it - is opening in the state of Pennsylvania,” Trump said.

The president’s comment puzzled both scientists and people with an understanding of how coal mining works.

“He clearly doesn’t know what he's talking about,” said Pieter Tans, the lead scientist of the Global Greenhouse Gas Reference Network of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in
Boulder, Colorado.

“It sounds like he thinks that they're going to wash the coal,” Tans told ABC News. “It doesn’t make any sense.”

He added, “The concept of ‘clean coal’ is “industry propaganda.”

Tuesday was not the first time Trump has referred to “clean coal” in his speeches.

At a February 2016 rally in Virginia, Trump said, "Clean coal is coming back," and took a dig at China's coal production practices.

"We sell coal, the coal mines are dying but the only coal we give is coal to China. Do you think they clean the coal? Believe me, they don't," he said.

During the second presidential debate, Trump mentioned it again but didn't talk about what it was or how it would help the coal industry.

"Hillary Clinton wants to put all the miners out of business. There is a thing called clean coal. Coal will last for 1,000 years in this country," he said last October.

Steve Clemmer, the energy research director at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said Trump’s clean coal references show that he does not have an understanding of the technology.

"Every time he refers to the world ‘coal’ he puts the world ‘clean’ in front of it. Or ‘beautiful,’” Clemmer told ABC News. “That signals to me that he doesn’t understand what most people refer to
clean coal as.”

He continued, “The way that most people refer to ‘clean coal’ is the process of removing the carbon emissions from the coal and injecting them into geologic formations to address the impact that
coal has on climate change.”

According to Paul Bailey, the CEO of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Energy, “clean coal technology” was first used by former Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.V., in the 1980s. However, that term has
become shortened by many to just “clean coal.”

“The term ‘clean coal’ and ‘clean coal technology’ have gotten conflated,” he explained.

"So when people refer to ‘clean coal’ whether they know it or not they're really referring to ‘clean coal technology,’” Bailey told ABC.

Clean coal technology refers to the advancements that have been made in the past several decades to limit the amount of air pollution created as a result of coal mining.

Bailey denied that his organization uses the term “clean coal” as propaganda and said he never considered that people may interpret Trump’s frequent references to “clean coal” as a type of coal
that is cleaner than others.

“There's no such thing as clean coal. If you want to clean up coal you’ve got to burn it and capture the particles and the mercury will come out anyway as a gas,” according to Tans.

U.S. production of coal has increased more than 14 percent year-to-date compared to the same time frame in 2016, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. West Virginia, Pennsylvania and
Wyoming have all experienced strong bumps in coal production since the Trump presidency.

"As with many of Trump's asinine proposals, his insistence on promoting coal is a big step backwards," said Pushker Kharecha, the deputy director of the Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions
program at Columbia University.

Kharecha noted that "coal is by far the dirtiest energy source in terms of both greenhouse gas emissions and fatal particulate emissions. In the US, coal plants are responsible for the large
majority of both of these emission types."

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flySnow/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Speaking to a crowd of supporters at a rally Tuesday night in Phoenix, President Trump vowed to make good on one of the signature promises of his campaign-- the wall along the Mexican border. He even went as far as to threaten a government shutdown over the issue.

“Now the obstructionist Democrats would like us not to do it, but believe me -- we have to close down our government -- we're building that wall!” he declared.

While some Republicans back the idea of funding and building a wall on the southern U.S. border, there is far from universal support across the party. There has been little indication that Republican leadership would be willing to risk a government shutdowns over to get their way certain funding for a wall, as shutdowns can cost the federal government billions of dollars, and tend to be politically unpopular.

Despite the president’s remarks, House Speaker Paul Ryan Wednesday afternoon said a shutdown is unnecessary.

“I don’t think most people want to see a government shutdown,” Ryan said during a press conference in Oregon on Wednesday. He added that both he and president share “very legitimate concerns” about the border and agree on the need for a physical wall, but said that a shutdown is “not in our interest.”

In a written statement Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not directly address the president’s comments on the border wall, but suggested he does not want to hold basic federal funding hostage over this issue. He wrote that his team was working with the White House to "prevent a government default" and "fund the government.”

Trump’s comments in Phoenix, however, likely emboldened staunch conservatives on the Hill who have held up negotiations over budgets and raising the debt ceiling in the past.

Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) has argued repeatedly that the GOP should go to the mat over funding for a border wall, and on Tuesday tweeted, "I applaud @POTUS @realDonaldTrump for his commitment to keeping a promise that was central to his campaign -- securing our southern border." He added, "Congress would do well to join the president by keeping our own commitments and including border wall funding in upcoming spending measures."

I applaud @POTUS @realDonaldTrump for his commitment to keeping a promise that was central to his campaign--securing our southern border

— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) August 22, 2017

The President’s visit to Yuma, Arizona will be critical in highlighting the needs of our border patrol in their mission to keep America safe

— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) August 22, 2017

If the Freedom Caucus, which consists of conservative and libertarian Republican members, is unwilling to compromise on spending bills, as expected, GOP leadership will likely need to win over some Democrats in order to pass their budget bills or raise the debt ceiling and avoid a shutdown.

Knowing this, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer warned Republicans and the White House on Wednesday not to draw a line in the sand over the wall.

“If the president pursues this path, against the wishes of both Republicans and Democrats, as well as the majority of the American people, he will be heading towards a government shutdown which nobody will like and which won’t accomplish anything,” he wrote in a statement.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi echoed Schumer’s criticism of Trump’s willingness to risk government shutdown in order to secure border wall funding.

Trump “will purposefully hurt American communities to force American taxpayers to fund an immoral, ineffective and expensive border wall,” she wrote in a statement. She warned of the large financial costs that come with a shutdown, saying, “The last time Republicans shut down the government, their callous recklessness cost the American economy $24 billion and 120,000 jobs.”

Pelosi signaled that Democrats will push back on Trump’s efforts, adding they “will stand fast against the immoral, ineffective border wall and the rest of Republicans’ unacceptable poison pill riders.”

While Ryan has emerged as a vocal advocate for a wall, his Senate counterpart McConnell has been more tepid about the idea. When asked in March about how much the wall was a priority for him this year, he replied, “I’m in favor of border security. There are some places along the border where that’s probably not the best way to secure the border.” In a press conference in April, McConnell said funding for border security or a wall would be “subject to negotiation with our Democratic colleagues.”

Lawmakers in the last few years have used the threat of a government shutdown as a tricky negotiating tool. Democrats have said they will not work with Republicans on the budget if they feel like they are being backed into a corner with ultimatums.

During an April 23 interview with ABC News’ on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that he “can't imagine the Democrats would shut down the government over an objection to building a down payment on a wall that can end the lawlessness.” In the coming months, Democrats will likely say the same line back to their Republican colleagues.

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Monica Schipper/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Hillary Clinton calls President Donald Trump a "creep" who "love[s] to intimidate women" in an excerpt of her forthcoming memoir while detailing her experience at one of 2016’s presidential debates.

In the passage from Clinton’s memoir, “What Happened,” the former secretary of state recounts an "incredibly uncomfortable" moment during the second presidential debate in St. Louis on October 9, in which her "skin crawled" as Trump was "looming behind" her and "literally breathing down [her] neck." A day prior, the Washington Post had released a video from 2005 of Trump making lewd comments about sexually assaulting women.

"Well, what would you do? Do you stay calm, keep smiling and carry on, as if he weren't repeatedly invading your space?" asks Clinton in the book. "Or do you turn, look him in the eye, and say loudly and clearly: 'Back up you creep, get away from me. I know you love to intimidate women, but you can't intimidate me, so back up.'"

Clinton explains that she chose to maintain her focus on the debate, "aided by a lifetime of dealing with difficult men trying to throw me off," but admits she contemplated whether she should have taken the more direct approach.

"It certainly would have been better TV," she says in the clip from the audio book, which she reads.

"What Happened," which is being published by Simon and Schuster, is scheduled for release on September 12. The memoir of Clinton's experience as the first female presidential nominee of a major party will be her third book.

"I don’t have all the answers, and this isn’t a comprehensive account of the 2016 race," says Clinton in a portion of the author's note also obtained by ABC News. "This is my story. I want to pull back the curtain on an experience that was exhilarating, joyful, humbling, infuriating and just plain baffling."

"Writing this wasn’t easy," she adds. "Every day that I was a candidate for president, I knew that millions of people were counting on me, and I couldn’t bare the idea of letting them down -- but I did. I couldn’t get the job done, and I’ll have to live with that for the rest of my life."

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garytog/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump’s handling of the deadly events in Charlottesville, Virginia, this month and his inconsistent characterization of them led to a swift and mostly negative reaction from many Americans.

Approval of the president’s response to Charlottesville stood at just 28 percent, according to a recent ABC News/Washington Post poll.

In that same poll, 9 percent of respondents also said that it was acceptable to hold neo-Nazi or white supremacist views.

ABC News telephoned some of the people who participated in the poll, who either said they approved of the president’s response to Charlottesville or said neo-Nazi-white supremacist views were acceptable, to understand why they reacted differently than the many Americans who have condemned the president’s comments.

While the responses to how the president handled the aftermath of Charlottesville from the president’s supporters were varied, many simply said the president was telling it like it is, and cutting through the narratives pushed by the media.

The slippery slope

Merilyn Hursh of Forest Lake, Minnesota, agreed with President Trump that removing Confederate monuments may be just the first step in an attempt to go after monuments to other classic U.S. figures: “Do we go after [George] Washington and [Thomas] Jefferson? What are we going to take away next?”

Not all memorials and monuments have to be about the positive side of history, she said. “The Auschwitz crematorium still exists and that’s one of the most horrific things that has happened that I can think of,” Hursch, 43, said of the Polish concentration camp where the Nazis exterminated over a million people, most of them Jews, during World War II.

Despite her approval of how the president responded to Charlottesville, Hursch said she thought he could have elaborated more on the events and given a clearer explanation of what took place.

Trump’s being Trump

Many of those defending Trump’s Charlottesville response say it’s simply his way of cutting through the narrative pushed by the media. “He’s not going along with the agenda. He’s a wild card,” Meryl Fischer, 99, of Long Island, New York, said. “In America, we have freedom of speech. You don’t have to agree with it.”

Fischer, who described herself as a “big Trump supporter,” said the recent uptick in protests across the country feel “orchestrated” to her.

Fischer also decried the influence of what she described as “elites” in the media, who, she said, fail to tell the whole story. She also expressed a sentiment that would, no doubt, be music to the president’s ears: “[Trump] didn’t have to become president, he didn’t need it, he’s got all the money, he didn’t have to take on all these headaches.”

It’s a free country

Some of those interviewed, like Dan Trombetti of Paducah, Kentucky, said that while the views held by those protesting the removal of the statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville are “totally not right,” that doesn’t mean they do not have the right to express them.

“Their beliefs aren’t according to my beliefs but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a right to express them peacefully,” he said.

Trombetti said the issue of whether to remove Confederate statutes should be put to a vote locally. He also defended the president’s evolving statements on Charlottesville, saying he didn’t have “all the information that he needed to condemn whoever it was.”

’Both sides’ deserve blame

“President Trump was right in condemning both sides,” Mark Baker of St. Cloud, Minnesota, said. “You have the ‘antifa’ [antifacists] with their face covered and the neo-Nazi’s with their sticks and poles and flags. If you’re there to protest peacefully, there’s no reason to bring a bat or cover your face.”

Baker said he doesn’t support anyone who wants to go out and show hate in the world today. He also said that the statues and monuments that may be torn down are “part of our history” and he believes they are not meant to offend people.

The free speech argument was another with which Baker agreed, saying, “I don’t want to see the First Amendment get ruined. Once somebody shuts them [the protesters] up, it’s never going to stop.”

Trump was ‘point on’ in his response

Donald Culpepper, 74, approved of Trump’s response to Charlottesville, which he called “point on.”

“You can’t stop violence with more violence,” Culpepper, who identifies as a somewhat conservative Republican, said.

The Houma, Louisiana, native says he believes “people have a right to believe whatever they want to,” and responded in the poll that people’s having neo-Nazi views is acceptable. But “If you act upon something you believe and it’s outside of the code of rules we live by, then that’s certainly improper,” he added.

The libertarian viewpoint

“Good people don’t get swooped up in the mob mentality; they think for themselves,” Lori Ford, 58, said of the violence in Charlottesville, “and, in my opinion, that’s what I believe happened.”

Ford of Phoenix, Arizona, said Confederate monuments like the statue of Robert E. Lee that partly sparked protests in Charlottesville don’t offend her personally, but that she “can see how they trigger some people.”

A self-described libertarian, Ford said she accepts people’s having neo-Nazi views because of her belief in free speech. She added, however, that “free speech stops at the second that violence starts.”

The incidents in Charlottesville were “horrible,” and “if that type of violence continues, then it’s bad for everybody,” Ford warned.

Pointing to regulations on free speech like rally permits, Ford said “the government has no qualms about taking our rights away.”

Don’t paint with a broad brush

Allen Knowles of Detroit responded to the poll that he approved of Trump’s response to Charlottesville but did not find neo-Nazi views acceptable. “I’m not saying [Trump’s] not pro-white people,” Knowles said, “but I do think he went out there and he denounced both of the groups.”

Knowles, 33, said he thinks “Democrats are paying” for people to “go against Trump.”

“I don’t believe that all white people who were [at the Charlottesville protests] were the Nazis,” Knowles said, though making sure to clarify, “A lot of the people [counterprotesters] are the Black Lives Matter movement.”

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former FBI Director James Comey has been appointed an endowed chair in public policy at Howard University and will deliver a convocation address to incoming freshmen in September, the school announced Wednesday.

In a press release, the historically Black university said that Comey, who was controversially fired from his post leading the FBI by President Donald Trump in May, will "engage the Howard community through a lecture series" during the 2017-2018 school year.

The White House originally portrayed Comey's dismissal as coming at the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who cited the director's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation in a letter to Trump. The president later claimed responsibility for the firing and admitted he was thinking about the FBI's inquiry into Russian election interference -- currently being led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller -- when he made the decision.

In June, Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee and described his interactions with Trump prior to his termination, including the president's expectations of "loyalty."

Howard's Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy aims to "provide students access to experienced, senior public service executives who developed and advanced public policy initiatives," according to the school. The post comes with a compensation of $100,000 which Comey will donate to a scholarship fund for students who formerly lived in foster homes.

"I am honored to hold the King Chair this school year. Howard has a longstanding history of being a vibrant academic community and the perfect place to have rich dialogue on many of the most pressing issues we face today," Comey said, in a statement released by the university. "I look forward to contributing to this remarkable institution and engaging students and faculty alike."

Comey will deliver his convocation remarks to the class of 2021 on September 22.

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Ralph Freso/Getty Images(RENO, Nev.) -- President Donald Trump's tone at a speech at the National Convention of the American Legion in Reno, Nevada struck a softer tone than his bombastic speech in Phoenix on Tuesday night.

"There is no country like the United States of America. We have no division too deep for us to heal, and there is no enemy too strong for us to overcome. Because in America, we never lose faith. We never forget who we are and we never stop striving for a better future. Together, we cannot fail," he said.

Much of the difference in attitude may be explained by the two very different audiences he was speaking to over the past 24 hours.

Tuesday night's event was a campaign rally where he was speaking to his base of fervent supporters inside; outside, thousands gathered to protest the president’s appearance.

By contrast, today's speech in Reno was to a veterans service organization.

"We are here to draw inspiration from you as we seek to renew the bonds of loyalty that bind us together as one people and one nation," Trump said Wednesday.

"For generations now, the American legion has taught our young people the principles of Americanism. You emphasize the need to preserve the nation's cultural, moral, and patriotic values. You encourage the observation of patriotic holidays. You stress the need to enforce our laws, including our immigration laws. You teach the responsibilities of citizenship and the importance of the pledge of allegiance," he said.

At one point, he did reference "history and culture," a phrase he has used since the violent and deadly protests over the removal of a confederate statue in Charlottesville earlier this month.

In Wednesday's speech, Trump did not specifically mention Charlottesville or ties to confederate statues.

"You teach young Americans to have pride in our history so that they will have confidence in our future. History and culture, so important," he said today.

During Tuesday night's speech he struck a different tone, suggesting that some people want to remove statues of "America's great leaders," like former Presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.

"They're trying to take away our culture, our history and our weak leaders," he said in Phoenix.

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Ingram Publishing/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- One of the State Department’s science envoys has announced his resignation on Twitter, citing President Trump's "attacks on core values of the United States."

Dr. Daniel Kammen, a professor of energy at the University of California, Berkeley, wrote in a long letter that he is resigning because of the president’s "failure to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis," calling it "a pattern of behavior that enables sexism and racismand disregards the welfare of all Americans, the global community, and the planet."

Kammen also argued that by pulling out of the Paris climate accord, Trump has "abdicate[d] the leadership opportunities and the job creation benefits" participating in the agreement could have represented.

In his letter, Kammen included an acrostic, in which the first letter of each paragraph spelled out IMPEACH. This is a move similar to the resignation letter from members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, who spelled out RESIST.

 

Mr. President, I am resigning as Science Envoy. Your response to Charlottesville enables racism, sexism, & harms our country and planet. pic.twitter.com/eWzDc5Yw6t

— Daniel M Kammen (@dan_kammen) August 23, 2017

 

"Today, Dr. Daniel Kammen made a personal decision to resign. We appreciate his dedicated service to U.S. scientific diplomacy during his appointment working on energy efficiency and renewable energy in Africa as a Science Envoy," a State Department official told ABC News.

Kammen was not the State Department's science envoy, but one of three unpaid scientists and engineers who have been working with the agency on key scientific issues. Science envoys are different than the special envoy roles filled by full-time employees at the State Department, in that they work with the agency to foster cooperation with foreign governments, businesses, universities and others.

Since 2010, 18 science envoys have worked with the State Department and visited 41 countries, according to a State Department official. Their terms last about one year.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Donald Trump’s campaign had its fair share of staff shakeups during the election. And a little over seven months into Trump’s presidency, his White House staff and administration have also seen a lot of turnover.

Steve Bannon was the latest to be axed from the White House, becoming the fourth senior-level official pushed out in the span of a month.

Here are the departures of White House staffers and other administration officials, starting with the most recent:

Steve Bannon

Role in the White House: Chief strategist and senior counselor

Hired: Nov. 13, 2016

Officially started: Jan. 20, 2017

Fired: Aug. 18, 2017

210 days in his tenure

After working as the CEO of the Trump campaign since August 2016, Bannon was appointed to a role in the White House. Trump’s announcement that Bannon would be his chief strategist was met with backlash. Critics opposed Bannon’s purported nationalist views and former career as executive chairman of the website Breitbart News, which posted articles that promoted the so-called "alt-right" movement. Bannon’s firing came a result of the president’s increasing frustration with Bannon, according to one senior White House official. A source close to Bannon told ABC News that he had resigned with an effective date of Aug. 14.

What he’s doing now: Bannon has returned to Breitbart News.

Anthony Scaramucci

Role in the White House: White House communications director

Hired: July 21, 2017

Officially started: July 26, 2017

Fired: July 31, 2017

10 days in his tenure

Scaramucci didn’t officially start in his position until Wednesday, July 26, so he only worked five days on the job. On the day his role was announced, however, Scaramucci took questions from White House reporters during a press briefing.

Almost a week after Scaramucci was hired, The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza published a detailed account of an expletive-ridden phone conversation he had with Scaramucci. Scaramucci was pushed to resign the Monday following the article’s publication.

"Mr. Scaramucci felt it was best to give chief of staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team," a statement from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said.

“The president certainly felt that Anthony's comments were inappropriate for a person in that position and he didn't want to burden General Kelly," Sanders told said in a press briefing the day Scaramucci resigned.

What he's doing now: Having sold his stake in his fund for hedge funds to join the White House, Scaramucci has instead turned to turn doing media appearances. His first televised interview since leaving the White House was with ABC News.

Reince Priebus

Role in the White House: White House chief of staff

Hired: Nov. 13, 2016

Officially started: Jan. 20, 2017

Fired: July 28, 2017

189 days in his tenure

President Trump announced on Twitter that he was replacing Priebus as his right hand man with his Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly. According to senior White House officials, the president told Priebus he wanted to make a change two weeks before he was fired.

What he's doing now: Despite being out of the White House, Priebus told Fox News he's going to be "Team Trump all the time."

"I’ll always be out there trying to help the President, advance his goals, support him as a friend too," Priebus said.

Sean Spicer

Role in the White House: White House press secretary

Hired: Dec. 22, 2016

Officially started: Jan. 20, 2017

Resigned: July 21, 2017

182 days in his tenure

Spicer officially took on the role the day Trump was sworn-in as president. But Spicer was named incoming press secretary on Dec. 22, 2016 during the presidential transition. A few hours after Anthony Scaramucci was brought on the team as communications director, Spicer resigned. Spicer told ABC News that he felt “relieved” and that "organizationally” the White House communications team needed a “fresh start.” Though he’s no longer the press secretary, Spicer is still assisting the communications office.

What he’s doing now: After he resigned, Spicer declined to comment on his next steps or formal plans to ABC News, only saying he would be spending a lot of time with his family. There were rumors that Spicer would join “Dancing the Stars” or “Saturday Night Live,” on which he was famously parodied by Melissa McCarthy.

Mike Dubke

Role in the White House: White House communications director

Hired: March 6, 2017

Resigned: May 18, 2017

73 days in his tenure

According to Axios, Dubke left on good terms, but during his time in the White House he didn’t gel with those who had been with Trump since the campaign. After he resigned, Dubke offered to stay on until the end of President Trump's first foreign trip and “until a transition is concluded,” then-chief of staff Priebus said. Dubke’s last official day was June 2, 2017.

What he’s doing now: Dubke has returned to his work at the strategic communications and public affairs firm he co-founded, Black Rock Group.

James Comey

Role: FBI director

Hired: June 21, 2013

Officially started: September 4, 2013

Fired: May 9, 2017

1,343 days in his tenure

Comey was dismissed by Trump, who the White House originally said was acting upon the counsel of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, after they cited Comey's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails. Trump later portrayed the decision as his alone and said that he was thinking about the FBI's Russian election interference probe when he resolved to fire Comey.

What he's doing now: The former FBI director testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, when he detailed his interactions with Trump prior to his firing. In early August, Flatiron Books announced a deal to publish a book written by Comey in the spring of 2018.

Mike Flynn

Role in the Trump administration: National security adviser

Hired: November 18, 2016

Officially started: Jan. 20, 2017

Fired: Feb. 13, 2017

24 days in his tenure

Flynn, who spent much of 2016 on the campaign trail supporting Trump at rallies and events, was rewarded with the national security adviser position shortly after the election. He lasted just over three weeks before being forced to resign after it was revealed that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of multiple meetings with Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak prior to Trump's inauguration.

What he's doing now: Flynn and his business ties to Turkey have been part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and possible connections to the Trump campaign.

Sally Yates

Role: Acting Attorney General

Hired: Jan. 20, 2017

Fired: Jan. 30, 2017

10 days in her tenure

After nearly three decades in a career with the Department of Justice, Yates was fired for instructing the DOJ not to defend President Trump’s Jan. 27 executive order barring immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

"For as long as I am the Acting Attorney General, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the Executive Order, unless and until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so,” Yates wrote in a letter to DOJ lawyers. She was fired hours after sending the letter. In a statement, the White House said Yates "betrayed the Department of Justice."

What she’s doing now: Since she’s left the Department of Justice, Yates has penned two op-eds in the Washington Post and in the New York Times that are critical of Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Other notable departures:
George Sifakis - Office of Public Liaison
Ezra Cohen-Watnick - Senior Director for Intelligence Programs, National Security Council
Michael Short - Senior press assistant
Walter Shaub - Office of Government Ethics director
Vivek Murthy - U.S. Surgeon General
Angella Reid - White House chief usher
Katie Walsh - Deputy Chief of Staff
Preet Bharara - U.S. Attorney

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iStock/Thinkstock(PHEONIX) -- Police used tear gas and pepper spray to "disperse the crowd" after protesters threw objects at police officers following President Donald Trump's campaign-style rally in Phoenix on Tuesday night, authorities said.

Authorities arrested three people in connection with the protest after protesters in the crowd began to throw rocks, bottles and tear gas at officers, the Phoenix Police Department said Tuesday.

Masked police officers responded with pepper balls and tear gas in an attempt to “disperse the crowd and stop the assaults,” police said. Two people were arrested on charges of aggravated assault and the other for criminal damage, police said.

In a press briefing after the arrests, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams pushed back at reports that the scene outside the rally had grown chaotic.

"All in all, we had a successful celebration," Williams said. "I wouldn’t call it chaos.”

She also defended the police department’s use of force, calling it “absolutely” necessary.

"They had their own gas and they threw it at police. Not our gas," Williams said.

Authorities say officers used pepper spray to 'disperse the crowd' after protesters threw objects at police following Trump rally in Phoenix pic.twitter.com/ksexEB36XQ

— ABC News (@ABC) August 23, 2017


Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, who also spoke at the news conference, said protests were mostly peaceful except for a few disruptions.

“Tens of thousands of people came to downtown Phoenix to participate in our democracy to express their First Amendment rights,” Stanton said. "A very small number of people decided to engage in acts of assault on our police officers ... and that is very very unfortunate."

However, he said the city would examine if the approach used by the police was necessary.

“There’s going to be an after-incident review. We’re going to get all the facts and I’ll have a chance to comment in more detail at that time,” Stanton said, adding that the police department is "willing to look in the mirror" and "change policy appropriately."

Hundreds of people, including fervent Trump supporters and anti-Trump protesters, gathered near the Phoenix Convention Center ahead of the rally, which police characterized as peaceful.

The Phoenix Fire Department said it treated more than 20 people in the crowd for heat-related issues, but there were no serious injuries reported.

Inside, Trump spoke for about 90 minutes to a crowd of 15,000 people, according to the White House.

He spent a large portion of his time inside slamming the media for its coverage of him, but he also acknowledged the crowd outside the convention center.

“You got people outside, but not very many. See this room? You're safe in this room. You're very safe in this room,” Trump told the fiery crowd.

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NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump spoke Monday about his administration's Afghanistan strategy for the first time since taking office, and while there were some clear pronouncements, a number of details remain unknown to the public.

Trump has repeatedly criticized the Obama administration for publicly revealing its plans in a number of different areas, including Afghanistan, so his decision to keep certain details under wraps comes as little surprise.

Here is a rundown of the five biggest takeaways from Monday night's speech.

1. The U.S. military will maintain its presence in Afghanistan

Trump has previously been a vocal critic of the war in Afghanistan but he reiterated Monday that there are no immediate plans to withdraw.

"Our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives,” he said. “The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory. They deserve the tools they need and the trust they have earned to fight and to win.”

2. We don't know how many more troops will be sent

Trump suggested that more resources will be sent to Afghanistan but did not disclose any specifics on how many troops that could involve.

"We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities,” he said. “Conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables, will guide our strategy from now on.”

3. There is no set timeline, at least not publicly

In keeping with his prior criticisms of the Obama administration's preference for revealing specific timetables for troop withdrawal, Trump did not shed any light on possible schedules for further troop deployment or any scaling back of operations.

"America’s enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out,” he said. “I will not say when we are going to attack but attack we will.”

4. A reversal from Trump's earlier stance

Prior to running for office, Trump repeatedly called for the U.S. military to withdraw from Afghanistan, and he acknowledged the about-face Monday during the speech.

"My original instinct was to pull out. And historically, I like following my instincts,” he said. “But all my life I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office, in other words, when you’re president of the United States.”

He noted that he "studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle" and met with his Cabinet and the generals who are a part of his administration before making a decision.

"The consequences of a rapid exit are both predictable and unacceptable," he said.

"A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum for terrorists, including ISIS and Al Qaeda, would instantly fill just as happened before Sept. 11."

5. A focus on Pakistan

One aspect of what Trump called "our new strategy is to change the approach in how to deal with Pakistan."

"We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond," he said, though giving no specifics on what would happen if Pakistan fails to comply.

"Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists," he said.

Trump said Pakistan "has been a valued partner," but also noted that it "has also sheltered the same organizations that try every single day to kill our people. We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change. And that will change immediately."

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Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- After causing an uproar over a photo post on her now-private Instagram account, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin's actress-producer wife, Louise Linton, apologized on Tuesday for making a controversial comment at a user on the social media platform.

“I apologize for my post on social media yesterday as well as my response," Linton said in a statement Tuesday. "It was inappropriate and highly insensitive.”

The apology was regarding a controversial comment in response to a user comment on a photo she posted showing her stepping off a government plane with her husband.

She wrote in the photo's caption, "Great #daytrip to #Kentucky! #nicest #people #beautiful #countryside, and went on to include hashtags of various luxury designers she was wearing: "#rolandmouret pants #tomford sunnies, #hermesscarf #valentinorockstudheels #valentino #usa."

The user wrote in response to her photo, "Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable" -- a comment that Linton didn’t seem to appreciate.

“Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country?" she asked. "I'm pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day 'trip' than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you'd be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours."

Though Linton has been in the public eye for some time, many are unfamiliar with who she is. Here are a few things to know:

1. The Scottish-born actress had a privileged upbringing:
In 2015, Linton told Flavour magazine that she spent her weekends at Scotland's Melville Castle, which her family's trust acquired in 1993, according to the castle's website.

"It was an idyllic childhood spent mostly outdoors with all the animals. My siblings and I zoomed around on little motorbikes, kayaked, fished, spent time racing through the woods shooting each other with B.B. guns. It was a very normal life," she said. "The castle is magical and filled with so much history."

2. She's no stranger to controversy: In 2016, Linton came under fire after publishing a memoir about her gap year in Zambia, which critics said contained falsehoods about the country and conflicts in the region. Others also took issue with the general tone of the book, saying that Linton portrayed herself as a "white savior."

"I know that the skinny white girl once so incongruous in Africa still lives on inside me," she wrote in the book, according to the Washington Post. "Even in this world where I’m supposed to belong, I still sometimes feel out of place. Whenever that happens, though, I try to remember a smiling gap-toothed child with HIV whose greatest joy was to sit on my lap and drink from a bottle of Coca-Cola.”

At the time of its publication, the hashtag #LintonLies began trending on Twitter, and according to the Scotsman newspaper, the Zambian High Commission in London slammed Linton for her "falsified" account and accused her of "tarnishing the image of a very friendly and peaceful country." Abigail Chaponda, the first press secretary for the organization, also criticized Linton's descriptions of children with HIV and her decision to publish their photos.

“Those who work in the area of HIV and AIDS understand the need to respect the confidentiality of the people they work with," she said. "Clearly Ms. Linton does not seem to take this into consideration nor does she seem to understand that freedom of expression comes with responsibility."

Ultimately, Linton issued a mea culpa, which the Times of Zambia reported was accepted by the government.

"My goal was to convey what a remarkable country it was, and how I was personally moved by my experiences there. It was about being a naïve teenager on a big adventure who was reeling from the loss of her mother. I never imagined the book would insult anyone," she wrote on her website. "I have great warmth and admiration for Zambia and her people, and was deeply dismayed and saddened that I had caused them any offense. Realizing my mistake, I immediately apologized and retracted the book."

According to Amazon, "In Congo's Shadow: One Girl's Perilous Journey to the Heart of Africa" is out of print.

3. She has expensive taste: In her now-famous Instagram post, Linton tagged her outfit's high-end designers, including Roland Mouret, Valentino and Hermes. However, wearing luxury items is nothing new for Linton, who said in 2011 that her dog was named "De Beers," after the diamond company. For her June 24 wedding to Mnuchin, Linton wore a custom Ines Di Santo gown, according to the New York Times, and diamond jewelry. In the days leading up to her nuptials Linton gave Town & Country magazine a sneak peek into her jewelry box, which features a diamond necklace, Asscher-cut diamond studs that Mnuchin gave her as a Valentine's gift, and an art deco bracelet featuring a variety of stones by jeweler Martin Katz. As for her home, Redfin reported this past April that Mnuchin paid $12.6 million for the couple's 9-bedroom, 14-bathroom estate in Washington D.C.

4. She's held several jobs in the film industry: "Linton" is actually a stage name that the actress adopted after entering show business; her real last name is "Hay."

"I'm aware I'm stepping into an industry which can be glowing but also challenging, so it was a measure to protect those who share my last name," she said in a 2011 profile. "Linton is my brother's middle name, and one of my father's names. There is a famous author called Louise Hay too, so I wanted to avoid confusion."

Since becoming an actress, Linton, who also went to law school, has appeared in films including "Rules Don't Apply" and "Cabin Fever," as well as the TV movie, "William & Kate." She also started her own production company, Stormchaser Films, and earlier this year, briefly became the interim CEO of Dune Entertainment -- a position previously held by the treasury secretary -- though she stepped down a few weeks later, according to a June Bloomberg report. In a statement, Linton said that she “stepped aside to avoid any conflicts after Steven and I are married."

5. Philanthropy is important to her: On her website, Linton noted that she's worked with an animal non-profit, Mutt Match L.A., and previously served as an ambassador for Erskine, a military charity supported by Sir Sean Connery. She also told Locale magazine in 2014 that she also supports the Butterfly Trust, a Scottish charity for Cystic Fibrosis, and a Scottish animal rescue, Any Dog'il Do Rescue. She also serves on the 2017 UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital Board. "My mother was a genuine altruist. She was down to earth, extremely generous and involved in the Murrayfield Parish Church. Her death [when Linton was a teen] shaped me," Linton told the Herald magazine in 2011. "It has made me more empathetic and taught me to appreciate life is short. You have to live it to the fullest, not just in personal endeavors, but also in being a kind and humane person and by helping as many helping as you can."

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ABC News(PHOENIX) -- President Donald Trump greeted Marines and border patrol agents in Yuma, Arizona Tuesday afternoon ahead of a campaign rally that comes amid lingering fallout from his reaction to violent clashes between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month.

The president viewed equipment used in border protection, shook hands and posed for pictures at Air Station Yuma, just before leaving for Phoenix, where he'll speak at the city's convention center at 7 p.m.

Trump's response to Charlottesville, specifically that "both sides" contributed to the deadly violence, was criticized for seeming to equate white supremacists and the counterprotesters. This has led to plans by several groups to protest outside of the rally Tuesday evening.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton appealed to Trump to postpone the rally, which is being organized by his presidential campaign committee.

"I am disappointed that President Trump has chosen to hold a campaign rally as our nation is still healing from the tragic events in Charlottesville," Stanton said in a statement on Wednesday. "It is my hope that more sound judgment prevails and that he delays his visit."

There was speculation that Trump might announce a presidential pardon of the state's former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was found guilty of criminal contempt in July, but such a possibility was rejected by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, who spoke to reporters aboard Air Force One on the way to Arizona.

"There will no discussion of that today and no action will be taken on that at any point today," said Sanders. Arpaio told ABC News that he had not been invited to the rally, which he said he doesn’t view as a sign he’s no longer being considered for a pardon, but rather that tonight's venue is not the right setting.

Trump's visit to Arizona puts attention on his relationships with the two Republican senators from that state, John McCain and Jeff Flake. Flake is facing re-election next year.

On Twitter on Thursday, Trump bashed Flake as "toxic" and a "non-factor in the Senate." He also tweeted that it's "great to see" GOP Senate candidate Kelli Ward running against Flake — an unusual move, since a president typically does not side against an incumbent of his own party in a primary contest.

Ward will attend the rally, but her campaign declined to say whether an endorsement from Trump is expected.

"We'll see what happens," Ward's campaign press secretary Jennifer Lawrence told ABC News.

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Scott Olson/Getty Images(PHOENIX) -- President Donald Trump will not issue a pardon of controversial Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio during a campaign rally in Phoenix set for Tuesday evening, the White House said Tuesday.

"There will no discussion of that today and no action will be taken on that at any point today," said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders during a gaggle with reporters aboard Air Force One on the way to Arizona with Trump on Tuesday.

Arpaio faces up to six months in prison after being found guilty of criminal contempt in July, stemming from his disregard of an order that he cease detaining suspected illegal immigrants. The former sheriff became a national figure for his hardline approach to combatting undocumented persons living and moving within his jurisdiction.

Speculation that the president would use the occasion of the rally -- which will take place in Maricopa County where Arpaio served as sheriff -- arose from comments Trump made in an interview with Fox News earlier in August.

"I am seriously considering a pardon for Sheriff Arpaio," Trump said on August 13.

Arpaio and Trump maintained a relationship throughout the presidential campaign, during which Arpaio appeared at rallies on the Republican nominee's behalf, and ultimately spoke at the Republican National Convention. He lost reelection to his post as sheriff the same day in November that Trump captured Arizona's 11 electoral votes on his way to an electoral college victory over Hillary Clinton.

Trump has yet to exercise his pardon power as president. Any move to do so soon would come far earlier than former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, who each waited almost two years into their terms before granting an initial pardon.

Sanders did not rule out that Arpaio could be pardoned at a later date.

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United States Department of Treasury (NEW YORK) -- The wife of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has apologized after lashing out at a critic on Instagram before making her account private on Tuesday.

Louise Linton, a Scottish actress-producer, married Mnuchin in late June, and has been by his side for a number of work-related trips.

A photo Linton posted where she highlighted her designer fashions and then went on to criticize a commenter caused uproar online on Tuesday, and she has since apologized.

“I apologize for my post on social media yesterday as well as my response. It was inappropriate and highly insensitive," Linton said in a statement on Tuesday through her spokesperson.

In the photo posted Monday, she is leaving a government plane with Mnuchin close behind. She wrote in the photo's caption, "Great #daytrip to #Kentucky! #nicest #people #beautiful #countryside."

She went on to include hashtags of various luxury designers she was wearing: "#rolandmouret pants #tomford sunnies, #hermesscarf #valentinorockstudheels #valentino #usa."

One user wrote in response to her photo, "Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable."

The comment apparently didn't sit well with Linton, who wrote back that she and her husband are making sacrifices for his government job.

"Aw!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable! Did you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country?" she shot back.

Linton continued, "I'm pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day 'trip' than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you'd be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours."

Linton called the user "adorably out of touch."

"Thanks for the passive aggressive nasty comment. Your kids look very cute. Your life looks cute," Linton wrote.

Her Instagram account has since been set to private, but a number of news sites, including The New York Times and CNN, were able to capture a screen-grab of the post and others, including The Washington Post and CNBC, quoted the post.

"The Mnuchins are reimbursing the government for her travel, and she receives no compensation for products she mentions," a spokesperson for the Treasury Department said in a statement to ABC News.

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Office of the President(NEW YORK) --  Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor who is now U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said that she talked privately with President Trump after the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

"I picked up the phone and I had a private conversation with the president about Charlottesville, and it was taken very well," Haley told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on "Good Morning America" today.

Haley, as the Republican governor of South Carolina, called for the Confederate flag to be removed from the state capitol in 2015 in the wake of the racially charged killing of nine African-Americans at their church in Charleston.

Haley also during the 2016 Republican presidential primaries supported candidate Marco Rubio and implicitly criticized Trump when he did not immediately disavow former KKK leader David Duke.

Stephanopoulos asked her on "GMA" about Trump's remark following the violence in Charlottesville that there were “very fine” people on both sides -- in the white nationalist gathering on Aug. 12 and the counterprotests.

Haley said the president has since "clarified" his remarks "so that no one can question that he's opposed to bigotry and hate in this country."

Trump appeared to allude to the Charlottesville violence during his speech Monday night on Afghanistan.

"Loyalty to our nation demands loyalty to one another. Love for America requires love for all of its people," Trump said. "When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry, and no tolerance for hate."

Afghanistan

In regard to the president's announcement Monday night on Afghanistan policy, Haley said Americans are "not going to hear ... the details," of U.S. military tactics in the South Asian country.

She said the U.S. military operation in Afghanistan will be different than in the past 16 years.

"What you’re not going to hear are the details" about U.S. tactics there, she said. "In the past we’ve had administrations that have given out everything we’re doing, when we’re doing it and how we’re doing it. You’re not going to hear that now."

Another difference in America's engagement in the country under the Trump administration is: "It’s not going to be based on time; it’s going to be based on results," she said.

"It’s not going to be like the last 16 years," she said.

Asked what would constitute a victory in Afghanistan, Haley said it is to "defeat terrorism.

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