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Trump meets with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in the White House on April 9, 2019. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Trump administration is working to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization, the New York Times reports.

Driving the news: President Trump reportedly backed the idea after meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, whose government faces opposition from the Islamist group, earlier this month.

  • White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed to the Times that Trump is indeed considering the idea: "The president has consulted with his national security team and leaders in the region who share his concern, and this designation is working its way through the internal process."

The backdrop: The Muslim Brotherhood is a loose-knit transnational Sunni Islamist movement with international chapters across multiple Arab nations, originally founded in Egypt.

  • It renounced violence in the 1970s after using such tactics to attempt to create a society governed by Islamic law. Despite that renouncement, some branches and former members have continued to engage in terrorism.
  • However, some analysts argue that the group's disparate nature and philosophies mean it should avoid a terrorist group designation. As the Times notes, it is "less a coherent body than a loose-knit movement with chapters in different countries that either use [the Muslim Brotherhood] moniker or have strong historical ties to it."

The impact: Human rights officials are concerned that such a designation could embolden el-Sisi's suppression in Egypt, which has seen thousands jailed and Human Rights Watch said is in the midst of its "worst human rights crisis ... in recent decades."

  • Designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization could also severely strain relations with Turkey — as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a supporter — and have still-unknown effects on American humanitarian organizations that work with the group.

Go deeper: Trump praises Egypt's Sisi as U.S. lawmakers raise rights concerns

Go deeper

McCarthy jokes about hitting Pelosi with gavel if he becomes Speaker, in new audio

Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) can be heard saying "it would be hard not to hit" House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the speaker's gavel if Republicans retake the House in 2022 and he becomes speaker, according to new audio posted to Twitter by a Main Street Nashville reporter.

Driving the news: McCarthy made the comments during a fundraising event in Tennessee, as he was handed an oversized gavel by members of the Tennessee congressional delegation, reports CNN.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

U.S. and U.K. blame Iran for drone strike on oil tanker

Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. Photo: Sameer Al-DOUMY / AFP

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Sunday that the United States and United Kingdom, respectively, now believe Iran was likely responsible for last week's drone strike on an oil tanker in the Arabian sea.

Why it matters: The United States and Britain now join Israel in accusing Tehran of being behind the July 29 attack off the coast of Oman. Iran has denied involvement.

9 hours ago - Sports

Suni Lee wins bronze medal in uneven bars

Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

U.S. gymnast Sunisa "Suni" Lee won her 3rd Olympic medal on Sunday, taking home bronze in the individual uneven bars event.

Driving the news: Also on Sunday, U.S. gymnast MyKayla Skinner won the silver medal in the vault on Sunday after stepping in for Simone Biles, who withdrew from the event to prioritize her mental health and well-being.