intelligence

Bill Nelson Says Florida Election Systems Compromised by Russians
Senate Intelligence Committee avoids confirming or denying Democratic senator’s statement

Sen. Bill Nelson, right said he and fellow Florida Sen. Marco Rubio were made aware of Russian penetration of Florida election systems. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee told Sen. Bill Nelson to alert Florida election officials about Russian interference in their systems, they aren’t saying.

Nelson, a Florida Democrat on the ballot in 2018, was quoted by the Tampa Bay Times Wednesday saying that, “We were requested by the chairman and vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee to let the supervisors of election in Florida know that the Russians are in their records.”

3 Takeaways From the Pence ‘Space Force’ Sales Pitch
Vice president ignores white elephant: a skeptical military and Congress

Space Force was on the mind of Vice President Mike Pence, seen here in the Rotunda last year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There’s a new applause line in President Donald Trump’s campaign spiel.

It’s not quite up there with “Crooked Hillary” or demanding professional football players who kneel for the National Anthem to “get the hell out of here.” Crowds react with loud cheers when the president touts his envisioned “Space Force.”

Senate SCOTUS Confirmation Preventing Rosenstein Impeachment, Nunes Says
Leaked audio from a Republican fundraiser also warns of Trump impeachment risk

Audio was leaked of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif. revealing why the House has not impeached Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House chosing to refrain from impeaching Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein could have more to do with the Supreme Court than anything else.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said the reason the House has not voted to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is because of the Senate’s need to confirm a Supreme Court justice.

Trump’s Foreign Trips Get Low Marks New Poll Shows
Less than a third of Americans see success in Russia, North Korea summits

President Donald Trump’s foreign trips received tepid support from Americans in a new poll. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump’s summits in North Korea and Russia have received tepid support at home, with less than a third of Americans saying the trips were a success in an Economist/YouGov poll released Wednesday.

The June 12 meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un was successful 28 percent of respondents said, while 33 percent said it was unsuccessful and 39 percent said they were not sure.

Lindsey Graham Quips That Trump Brought Up Mueller and Russia ‘About 20 Times’
South Carolina senator said he told Trump that ending the Mueller probe would undermine GOP in November

Sen. Lindsey Graham said he told the president to just ride out the Russia investigation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday night that he has told President Donald Trump that ending the special counsel investigation of Robert S. Mueller III would undermine GOP chances in November.

The South Carolina Republican, who played golf with Trump on Sunday in New Jersey and discussed several issues with the president, was asked about the investigation of Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election at a Monday evening event hosted by the Greenville County Republican Party.

Sen. Rand Paul Invites Top Russians to U.S. as They Claim No Election Interference
‘We all do it,’ Kentucky Republican has said of election interference

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., invited top Russian government officials to the U.S. later this year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Rand Paul invited top Russian government officials to visit the U.S. later this year to continue a dialogue on important national security issues, he announced Monday.

The Kentucky Republican, who is leading a legislative delegation in the country this week, met with Konstantin Kosachev, the chairman of the Russian Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs. That committee is the Russian equivalent of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee that Paul sits on.

White House’s Mixed Messages to Iran Continue With Sanctions
Economic penalties had been removed under nuclear pact Trump left

U.S. President Donald Trump departs the White House July 31, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Updated 11:14 a.m. | The Trump administration reactivated sanctions Monday on Iran in an attempt to further squeeze its stumbling economy, a tough move that is the latest in a volley of mixed signals from Washington.

“Our actions will continue to limit Iran” from obtaining the resources needed to “support its malign behavior” across the Middle East, a senior administration official said Monday. “We are fully committed to rigorously enforcing our sanctions … to ensure they fully change course.”

So... How Does the White House Really Feel About Russia?
Trump undercuts security officials again with ‘the Russian hoax’

President Donald Trump on Thursday dismissed criticism of his Finland summit with Vladimir Putin just hours after his national security team warned Putin is overseeing an ongoing campaign to upend the U.S. political system. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images file photo)

Senior U.S. national security officials were clear Thursday afternoon: The Kremlin was involved in meddling in the 2016 American election and continues to be oversee efforts to do so again. Hours later, however, President Donald Trump described himself and Russian President Vladimir Putin as buddies.

As it often does, the Trump White House on Thursday sent mixed — starkly opposite, really — messages about Moscow’s ongoing hostile actions to upend the American political system and U.S.-Russian relations. The confusion leaves those very officials and lawmakers — including Republicans who have criticized Trump as too weak on Putin — still searching for the official administration stance on election meddling and posture toward America’s Cold War rival.

Russian Election Meddling Remains ‘Pervasive,’ Intel Chief Says
Coats: Kremlin wants to ‘weaken and divide the United States’

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a joint press conference after their summit last month in Helsinki, Finland. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

U.S. intel officials continue to see a “pervasive” effort by the Russian government to upend America’s political process, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Thursday.

“Pervasive” is how the former GOP Indiana senator described what U.S. intelligence officials have concluded is a “messaging campaign by Russia to weaken and divide the United States,” Coats said during the daily White House briefing. But what Russia is doing this election cycle is not as “robust” as two years ago — “so far,” he noted.

Why Rick Gates Was Always Going to Testify Against Manafort
Former righthand man expected to say Manafort directed him to directed him to conceal foreign bank accounts and lie on bank loan applications

President Donald Trump's ex-campaign chief Paul Manafort arrives court in Washington, D.C., in June for a hearing on whether his bail should be revoked. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Prosecutors in the Paul Manafort trial affirmed Thursday that they have “every intention” to call the former political consulting titan’s righthand man, Rick Gates, to testify against him.

The prosecution was probably always going to call Rick Gates to testify against Paul Manafort — even though U.S. attorney Uzo Asonye threw that plan into question the day before.