Also trending on your Thursday: Iran diplomat warns of 'all-out war' if hit for Saudi attack, Wapo reports Trump's contact with foreign leader spurred whistleblower, same-sex couple makes 'Bachelor' history
WaPo: Trump's contact with foreign leader spurred whistleblower
(CNN) -- A communication between President Donald Trump and a world leader prompted a whistleblower complaint that is now at the center of a dispute between the director of national intelligence and Congress, a source familiar with the case told CNN.
The concern was first revealed by The Washington Post, which reported that an official in the American intelligence community was so bothered by a "promise" Trump made to a foreign leader that the official filed a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general of the intelligence community, citing two former US officials familiar with the matter. CNN has not independently confirmed the detail about a "promise" made to the foreign leader.
The source who spoke to CNN would not disclose the foreign leader with whom Trump was alleged to have spoken.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment. The White House has not responded to CNN's request for comment.
The details of the complaint are shrouded in mystery, even as the fight between the House Intelligence Committee and acting director of national intelligence has been brought to the fore by committee Chairman Adam Schiff. While not privy to the details of the complaint, the California Democrat wrote in a letter to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence last week that, from what he has gleaned, he believes "the serious misconduct at issue involves the President of the United States and/or other senior White House or Administration officials."
It's the first time Trump's direct involvement in the complaint has been reported, according to the Post. The complaint was filed on August 12. White House records show Trump had spoken to or interacted with five foreign leaders in the previous five weeks, the Post reports: Russian President Vladimir Putin, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands and the Emir of Qatar. However, it's not clear that the communication that inspired the complaint was with any of those leaders.
A lawyer representing the whistleblower declined to comment to the Post.
The complaint has led to a standoff between Congress and acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, who has refused to turn over the complaint to the House Intelligence Committee. Maguire has agreed to testify next week in an open session before the committee after refusing to comply with Tuesday's deadline to hand over the whistleblower complaint, which had been deemed by the intelligence community inspector general to be "credible and urgent."
Schiff announced Wednesday that Maguire will appear at 9 a.m. on September 26. The California Democrat also announced that the intelligence community inspector general will brief the House committee Thursday behind closed doors about how it handled the whistleblower complaint.
'Deeply sorry' Trudeau begs forgiveness for brownface photo
TORONTO (AP) — Canadian leader Justin Trudeau's campaign moved to contain a growing scandal Thursday, following the publication of a yearbook photo showing him in brownface makeup at a 2001 costume party. The prime minister apologized and begged Canadians to forgive him.
Time magazine published the photo on Wednesday, saying it was taken from the yearbook from the West Point Grey Academy, a private school in British Columbia where Trudeau worked as a teacher before entering politics. It depicts the then 29-year-old Trudeau wearing a turban and robe, with dark makeup on his hands, face and neck.
Trudeau, who launched his reelection campaign exactly one week ago, said he should have known better.
"I'm pissed off at myself, I'm disappointed in myself," Trudeau told reporters traveling with him on his campaign plane.
The Canadian prime minister is but the latest politician to face scrutiny over racially insensitive photos and actions from their younger days. Earlier this year, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam faced intense pressure to resign after a racist picture surfaced from his 1984 medical school yearbook page. He denied being in the picture but admitted wearing blackface as a young man while portraying Michael Jackson at a dance party in the 1980s. Since then, Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has acknowledged wearing blackface in college, and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has publicly apologized for donning blackface during a college skit more than 50 years ago. None has resigned.
The photo of Trudeau was taken at the school's annual dinner, which had an "Arabian Nights" theme that year, Trudeau said, adding that he was dressed as a character from "Aladdin." The prime minister said it was not the first time he has painted his face; once, he said, he performed a version of Harry Belafonte's "Banana Boat Song (Day-O)" during a talent show.
"I should have known better then but I didn't, and I am deeply sorry for it," Trudeau said. "I'm going to ask Canadians to forgive me for what I did. I shouldn't have done that. I take responsibility for it. It was a dumb thing to do."
He said he has always been more enthusiastic about costumes than is "sometimes appropriate."
"These are the situations I regret deeply," Trudeau added.
The prime minister, who champions diversity and multiculturalism, said he didn't consider it racist at the time but said society knows better now.
The photo's publication could spell more trouble for Trudeau, who polls say is facing a serious challenge from Conservative leader Andrew Scheer.
A New York student was fatally stabbed while onlookers took a video of his suffering
(CNN) -- Soon after school let out on Monday, a deadly fight broke out at a strip mall near Oceanside High School in Nassau County, New York. A group of teenagers looked on as Khaseen Morris, a 16-year-old student, was assaulted and stabbed in the chest. Some took out their phones and documented the fight on social media, but no one stepped in to help him.
Morris died from his wounds after being taken to the hospital, according to Detective Lt. Stephen Fitzpatrick of the Nassau County Police Department.
In a release issued Wednesday, police announced that 18-year-old Tyler Flach has been charged with second-degree murder. He is set to be arraigned on Thursday. Police were unable to say whether Flach has an attorney.
At a press conference on Tuesday, before any arrests had been made, Fitzpatrick said it was a "prearranged" fight over a "girl and a perception of who she might be dating or who she might be hanging with at this time."
"That dispute boiled over here, where a group of six to seven males charged at the victim and his couple of friends, and during that melee, stabbed him," Fitzpatrick said, standing in front of the strip mall where the fight took place.
He estimated there were between 50 and 70 kids there at the time and said several of them had come forward with information.
Fitzpatrick said he didn't know what to make of the number of bystanders who failed to assist Morris. "Kids stood here and didn't help Khaseen. They would rather video this event. They videoed his death instead of helping him," he said.
Oceanside School District Superintendent Phyllis Harrington said in a video posted Thursday that the district is doing "everything necessary" to protect students and staff. She also asked that parents talk to their children about social media use, cautioning users not to "engage in spreading rumors."
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said in a statement that additional police officers would be assigned to patrol Oceanside High School and neighboring schools. "I want to plead with all our residents -- not just our young people: If you see someone in serious danger, please use your phone to get help -- not likes and shares," she said.
Same-sex couple makes 'Bachelor' franchise history with their engagement proposal
(CNN) -- The "Bachelor" franchise ended its sixth season of "Bachelor in Paradise" with a first — a proposal between a same-sex couple.
Demi Burnett and Kristian Haggerty got engaged on the season finale of the spin-off Tuesday night. Burnett popped the question to Haggerty in Mexico, where the show was being filmed.
"Bachelor in Paradise" finds contestants from both "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" getting a second chance at love after they have been dismissed or eliminated from the original series.
Over the summer, the series has been following Burnett, who appeared on season 23 of the Bachelor with ex-NFL player Colton Underwood, as she has come to share her sexual identity. Burnett revealed she was "sexually fluid" in the August 20 episode of the show and in a relationship with Haggerty, who is unaffiliated with the franchise.
Haggerty was flown to Sayulita, Mexico, to appear on the episode and share that she is in a committed relationship with Burnett. It was the first time a same-sex couple was featured anywhere in the 17-year history of the franchise.
GLAAD issued a statement after the initial episode premiered applauding the show's decision.
"Until now, contestants on the show have only been seen pursuing straight relationships. 'Bachelor in Paradise's' inclusion of Demi Burnett's coming out story and her journey to accepting her queer identity is groundbreaking for the series," Anthony Ramos, GLAAD's Head of Talent said in a statement.
The show has been criticized in the past for its lack of diversity.
Nevada desert towns prep for possible 'Storm Area 51' influx
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Visitors descending on the remote Nevada desert for "Storm Area 51" are from Earth, not outer space.
No one knows what to expect, but the two tiny towns of Rachel and Hiko near the once-secret military research site are preparing for an influx of people over the next few days.
"It's happening. We already have people from all over the world," Little A'Le'Inn proprietor Connie West said Wednesday from her bustling cafe and motel, where volunteers have arrived from Poland, Scotland, Australia, Florida, Idaho and Oklahoma.
Neighbors, elected officials and event organizers said the craze sparked by an internet joke inviting people to "see them aliens" might become a cultural marker, a monumental dud or something in between.
Area 51's secrecy has long fueled fascination about extraterrestrial life, UFOs and conspiracy theories, giving rise to the events this week and prompting military warnings not to approach the protected site.
"This phenomenon is really a perfect blend of interest in aliens and the supernatural, government conspiracies, and the desire to know what we don't know," said Michael Ian Borer, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas, sociologist who researches pop culture and paranormal activity.
The result, Borer said, was "hope and fear" for events that include the "Area 51 Basecamp," featuring music, speakers and movies, and two festivals competing for the name "Alienstock" starting Thursday.
Some neighbors and officials in two counties near Area 51 are nervous. The area of scenic mountains and rugged desert is home to a combined 50,000 people and compares in size with New England.
Elected officials signed emergency declarations after millions of people responded to the Facebook post this summer.
"We are preparing for the worst," said Joerg Arnu, a Rachel resident who could see from his home a makeshift stage and cluster of portable toilets in a dusty area recently scraped of brush surrounding West's little motel and cafe.
Arnu said he installed outdoor floodlights, fencing and "No Trespassing" signs on his 30-acre property. He's also organized a radio-equipped night watch of neighbors, fearing there won't be enough water, food, trash bins or toilets for visitors.
"Those that know what to expect camping in the desert are going to have a good time," Arnu said. "Those who are looking for a big party are going to be disappointed."
He predicts people showing up in the desert in shorts and flip-flops.
"That doesn't protect you against critters, snakes and scorpions," Arnu said. "It will get cold at night. They're not going to find what they're looking for, and they are going to get angry."
Officials expect cellular service to be overwhelmed. The nearest gas station is 45 miles (72 kilometers) away. Campers could encounter overnight temperatures as low as 41 degrees (5 degrees Celsius).
"We really didn't ask for this," said Varlin Higbee, a Lincoln County commissioner who voted to allocate $250,000 in scarce funds to handle anticipated crowds.
"We have planned and staged enough to handle 30,000 to 40,000 people," Higbee said. "We don't know how many will come for sure."
Though the creator of the Facebook event later called it a hoax, the overwhelming response sent local, state and military officials scrambling. Promoters began scouting sites. A beer company produced alien-themed cans. A Nevada brothel offered discounts to "E.T. enthusiasts."
The Federal Aviation Administration closed nearby air space this week.
"People desire to be part of something, to be ahead of the curve," said Borer, the sociologist. "Area 51 is a place where normal, ordinary citizens can't go. When you tell people they can't do something, they just want to do it more."
George Harris, owner of the Alien Research Center souvenir store in Hiko, welcomed the attention and planned a cultural program focused on extraterrestrial lore Friday and Saturday.
The "Area 51 Basecamp" promises up to 60 food trucks and vendors, trash and electric service, and a robust security and medical staff.
Harris said he was prepared for up to 15,000 people and expected they would appreciate taking selfies with a replica of Area 51's back gate without having to travel several miles to the real thing.
"It's exactly the same," Harris said. "We just want people to be safe. As long as they don't go on the desert floor and destroy the ecosystem, everyone will have a good time."
West, the motel owner, is planning an "Alienstock" Thursday through Sunday in Rachel, a town of about 50 residents a more than two-hour drive north of Las Vegas on a normally lonely road dubbed the Extraterrestrial Highway. She plans 20 musical acts, plus food vendors and souvenir sellers.
West said she refunded some camping reservations after Matty Roberts, who created the Facebook post, broke ties with her event. Roberts, 20, of Bakersfield, California, is supporting an "Alienstock" festival scheduled for Thursday at an outdoor venue in downtown Las Vegas.
Roberts' attorneys told West to stop using the "Alienstock" name, but she refused, saying, "I'll just worry about the legalities later."
The U.S. Air Force has issued stern warnings for people not to approach the gates of the Nevada Test and Training Range, where Area 51 is located.
Area 51 tested aircraft ranging from the U-2 in the 1950s to the B-2 stealth bomber in the 1980s. The government spent decades refusing to acknowledge the site even existed, before releasing documents confirming it in 2013. Its secrecy still fuels speculation that it's where the government studies aliens.
County lawmakers in Nye County, home to a conspicuously green establishment called the Area 51 Alien Center, are discouraging Earthlings from trying to find extraterrestrials there.
"We're taking precautions and checking the back roads," Sheriff Sharon Wehrly said.
Her deputies last week arrested two Dutch tourists attracted by "Storm Area 51." The men pleaded guilty to trespassing at a secure U.S. site nowhere near Area 51 and promised to pay thousands in fines.
Arnu said the military added razor wire to barbed cattle fencing on the Area 51 boundary near his home, installed more cameras and battery-powered lighting, and erected an imposing spike barrier just inside a gate. He noted a new sign telling trespassers they'll be arrested and fined $1,000.
Hundreds of law enforcement officers and medics will be on hand, along with the Nevada National Guard.