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July 20, 2014

A frustrated Secretary of State John Kerry was caught Sunday on a live mic speaking candidly about the situation in Gaza. Kerry was in between interviews he was conducting for a media blitz when Fox News picked up his brief phone conversation with an aide.

"It's a hell of a pinpoint operation," Kerry said, seeming to criticize the Israeli government for the mounting civilian death toll. "We've got to get over there," he added. "We ought to go tonight. I think it's crazy to be sitting around."

Kerry's remarks came as he was about to appear on Fox News Sunday and so, once he was live on air, host Chris Wallace naturally asked him to explain what he deemed "an extraordinary moment of diplomacy." -- Jon Terbush

12:09 p.m. ET

New White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci got punny Sunday explaining his plan for drastic changes to stem the deluge of leaks from the Trump White House.

Leakers are "gonna get fired," Scaramucci said on CBS' Face the Nation. "Tomorrow I'm going to have a staff meeting, and it's going to be a very binary thing," he continued. "If the leaks continue, we are as strong as our weakest link — and I'll say it a little differently, in a pun, we're as strong as our weakest leak." Scaramucci pledged not to "make any pre-judgments" about White House communications staff, but reiterated his willingness to fire people.

He offered a similar message on Fox News Sunday, promising "dramatic action to stop those leaks" in conversation with host Chris Wallace. "I think it's not fair to the president, it's actually not fair to America or the people in the government," Scaramucci said. "Something is going on in the White House that the president does not like and we're going to fix it."

Watch a clip of the CBS interview below. Bonnie Kristian

11:34 a.m. ET

President Trump supports the punitive congressional sanctions on Russia, said incoming White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who has been tapped to move up from a deputy role to replace Sean Spicer, in an ABC News interview Sunday.

"The administration is supportive of being tough on Russia, particularly in putting the sanctions in place," she said. "The original piece of legislation was poorly written, but we were able to work with the House and Senate, and the administration is happy with the ability to do that and make those changes that were necessary, and we support where the legislation is now."

The sanctions were negotiated Saturday and were expected to garner continued opposition from Trump. Watch an excerpt of Sanders' comments below. Bonnie Kristian

10:34 a.m. ET

President Trump will not need to pardon himself, said new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci in an interview on CNN's State of the Union Sunday, so discussing the legality of a presidential self pardon is pointless.

"We haven't even really looked into that," Scaramucci told host Jake Tapper, though he conceded discussing the topic with Trump attorney Jay Sekulow. "I'm not sure if [the president] has the right to pardon himself or not," Scaramucci continued, "but it doesn't matter anyway, because that's another one of those stupid hypotheticals. He's not going to have to pardon himself because he's done absolutely nothing wrong."

Sekulow, meanwhile, said in an ABC News appearance Sunday that "pardons have not been discussed" in the Trump White House. Trump tweeted about pardons Saturday, asserting his "complete power to pardon" in an update hot on the heels of a Washington Post report that the president is exploring whether he can use his broad constitutional pardon power on behalf of himself or members of his campaign or family.

Experts are split on the legality of a self pardon, which would be unprecedented in U.S. history, but generally agree it would be deeply inappropriate. Watch an excerpt of Scaramucci's comments below. Bonnie Kristian

10:16 a.m. ET
Shah Marai/Getty Images

A former primary challenger of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called on him to step down from his post in multiple statements this past week following his announcement of a brain cancer diagnosis.

Kelli Ward unsuccessfully challenged McCain for his Senate seat in the 2016 Republican primaries and will challenge Arizona's other GOP senator, Jeff Flake, for his spot in 2018. "The medical reality of [McCain's] diagnosis is grim," she said in one statement, posted on her website, arguing "Arizona deserves to be represented by someone who can focus" on Senate work.

In a radio interview, Ward suggested herself as McCain's replacement. Bonnie Kristian

10:13 a.m. ET
Ahmad Gharabli/Getty Images

Israeli installation of metal detectors and CCTV cameras at Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque — the disputed holy site venerated by Jews as the Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif — has been met by mass protest by Palestinians whom Al Jazeera notes believe "the metal detectors may be the first move in the Israelis taking over the compound."

Weekend reports conflict over whether Israeli authorities may be willing to remove the metal detectors. Israeli Major General Yoav Mordechai indicated to BBC News Sunday that option could be on the table, but only if another security measure takes the detectors' place. "Any solution be it electronic, cyber or modern technology: Israel is ready for a solution," he said. "We need a security solution; not political or religious."

The security measures were added after a July 14 attack in which two Israeli police officers were fatally shot by men who emerged from the compound armed. At least six people have been killed in violence during or in response to the protests. Bonnie Kristian

10:04 a.m. ET
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Warner Bros. officially announced a forthcoming sequel to 2017's Wonder Woman on Saturday at Comic-Con International in San Diego, California. Star Gal Gadot, who was present for the announcement, will return as Diana Prince. Wonder Woman is expected to be the top-earning blockbuster of the summer, raking in $767.7 million worldwide since its June 2 debut, a record haul for a live-action film with a female director.

The sequel's "story will take place in the U.S., which I think is right," said director Patty Jenkins. "She's Wonder Woman. She's got to come to America. It's time." The script is already under development, and Jenkins is negotiating her return as director. Bonnie Kristian

8:26 a.m. ET
Saul Loeb/Getty Images

House and Senate negotiators reached an agreement Saturday to place new punitive sanctions on Russia, overriding President Trump's objections. The deal will also sanction North Korea and Russia's ally Iran, targeting the countries for their "destabilizing actions around the world," said a statement from House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

Trump intended to ease some sanctions on Russia to foster more positive relations between Moscow and Washington, a plan that raised alarm among congressional Democrats and some Republicans. A Kremlin representative said in a statement to CNN Moscow views the deal "quite negatively."

White House lobbying against the Russian sanctions portion of the bill was unsuccessful, and the legislation could arrive on Trump's desk as soon as the end of the month. Neither chamber has voted on the bill yet, but it is expected to pass both houses with veto-proof majorities. Bonnie Kristian

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