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Rohrabacher to Consult With Trump Before Sharing Wikileaks Info
Said he and Assange discussed Wikileaks getting a seat at White House briefings

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, said he will consult with President Donald Trump on Wikileaks information on the DNC hacking last year “by the end of the month.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said he will consult with President Donald Trump about “earth-shattering” information he got from WikiLeaks about the Democratic National Committee hack before going public.

The Republican representative said he met with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and said Assange denied that Russia was involved with the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.

Rohrabacher: Assange Info Will Have ‘Earth-Shattering Political Impact’
California congressman met with Wikileaks founder in London

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., said Wikileaks founder Julian Assange “reiterated his aggressive denial” that the Russians had anything to do with the Democratic National Committee hack. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who the congressman said denied that Russia was involved in sending him emails from the Democratic National Committee

WikiLeaks published emails from the Democratic National Committee, which led to the resignation of DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Russia Portfolio Comes in Handy for Senate Staffer
Shaheen aide Naz Durakoglu comes via Atlantic Council, State Dept., House

Naz Durakoglu is a senior foreign policy adviser to New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. (Screenshot, Middle East Institute)

Naz Durakoglu started her new job working for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in early June, shortly after the New Hampshire Democrat had pushed to add Russia sanctions to an Iran sanctions bill as it moved through the Foreign Relations Committee.

But after Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee said he would move ahead with a bipartisan effort to tighten sanctions against Moscow, Shaheen withdrew her amendments. The timing, though, put Durakoglu, as a senior foreign policy adviser to Shaheen, in the middle of discussions about how to respond to Russia’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 election.

Podcast: Why You Shouldn’t Be Alarmed Over North Korea...Yet
The Week Ahead, Episode 65

President Donald Trump speaks during a security briefing on Thursday at his Bedminster National Golf Club in New Jersey. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump’s fiery rhetoric over North Korea’s nuclear program should not be taken seriously just yet, says CQ Roll Call’s foreign policy reporter Rachel Oswald, adding that Congress may take further action against Pyongyang in September.

Show Notes:

Trump Thanks Putin for Expelling U.S. Diplomats
President later says he was ‘absolutely’ being sarcastic

President Donald Trump arrives for a working session at the G-20 economic summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 8. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images file photo)

Updated Friday, 8:15 p.m. | President Donald Trump thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for his decision to expel hundreds of American diplomats based in Moscow, saying it will help reduce the U.S. government’s payroll.

The Kremlin’s decision to expel 755 U.S. diplomats by Sept. 1 came after Congress overwhelmingly passed a measure aimed at imposing sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. Trump, who signed the bill on Aug. 2, expressed his appreciation Thursday for Putin’s move.

Blumenthal Says He Won’t Be ‘Bullied’ By ‘Slurs’ From Trump
Connecticut Democrat says he will keep talking about Mueller

Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal is pushing back against what he called “slurs” from President Donald Trump. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Richard Blumenthal said he will not be thrown off from talking about legislation designed to insulate special counsel Robert S. Mueller III by what the Connecticut Democrat called “slurs” being hurled at him on Twitter by President Donald Trump.

Mueller is overseeing the investigation of efforts by Russia to meddle in the 2016 presidential election, as well as of an expanding web of related activity that may prove criminal in nature.

Senators Seek to Protect Mueller From Trump
Work will take place to reconcile two bills over recess

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has broad support among senators. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

What’s the best way to keep President Donald Trump from firing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III? Senators and their staffs on both sides of the aisle will be trying to figure that out over the next few weeks.

Sen. Chris Coons hopes lawmakers will come together quickly to craft a bill to provide Mueller with some insulation from Trump. The Delaware Democrat is the lead co-sponsor on a bill introduced by North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis that would create a right of action for a special counsel to seek legal recourse in the event of a firing.

Trump Again Lashes Out at Congress Over Russia Sanctions
U.S. president sees relations with Moscow at ‘dangerous’ low point

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with President Donald Trump at a G-20 summit in Germany. Trump is blaming Congress for what he calls an "all time" low in U.S.-Russia relations. (Wikimedia Commons)

Lashing out at Congress yet again, President Donald Trump blamed the 517 lawmakers who voted for a bill he signed Wednesday slapping new sanctions on Russia for what he calls a “dangerous low” in U.S.-Kremlin relations.

Trump used a morning tweet, after laying off his post-dawn social media blasts for two days, to continue his days-long Twitter assault on members of Congress — including his fellow Republicans — amid signs of growing intra-party tensions as the forced marriage strains under an unproductive legislative session.

Trump Makes Russia Sanctions Law, Then Savages Congress
President takes swipe at Senate Republicans after signing bipartisan bill

Despite his calls for warmer relations with the Kremlin, President Trump on Wednesday signed a bill slapping new sanctions on Russia. It also puts new penalties on North Korea and Iran. (Wikimedia Commons)

President Donald Trump signed bipartisan legislation slapping new sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea — then harshly criticized the legislation and the 517 lawmakers who voted for it.

Trump’s words reveal anew his growing irritation at Republican lawmakers’ inability to pass legislation he prefers and Democrats’ unwillingness to help. A statement issued by the White House after he signed the sanctions bill includes this line: “Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking.”

White House Acknowledges Trump Helped Craft Son’s Statement
Lawyer had said president played no role in message on Russian lawyer meeting

The White House on Tuesday admitted that the president, while aboard Air Force One after a G-20 summit last month, helped craft his eldest son’s statement about a meeting with a Russian lawyer. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In a reversal, the White House acknowledged Tuesday that President Donald Trump offered what it said was fatherly advice to his eldest son about a statement explaining a June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer believed to be bringing Kremlin-supplied dirt on Hillary Clinton. However, the president’s top spokeswoman said the elder Trump did nothing wrong.

Trump’s team initially denied the president was personally involved in drafting the statement, but a Washington Post article published Monday evening — citing multiple sources — painted him as its primary author. Trump dictated the statement to Hope Hicks, one of his closest advisers, on Air Force One last month as he returned from a G-20 summit in Europe, according to the Post report.