Senate Intel Unveils First Findings on Russia Election Meddling
Focus Tuesday was on election infrastructure security

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., left, and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., lead a news conference in the Capitol on Tuesday to preview the committee’s findings on threats to election infrastructure. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s recommendations for how to secure U.S. election systems from intrusion efforts by the Russians and others aren’t exactly earth-shattering.

But that’s not to say they aren’t important.

Trump Touts Putin Get-Together as Senators Warn of Electoral Threat
U.S. president doesn't mention Kremlin's election meddling as possible topic

President Donald Trump announced Tuesday he hopes to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin soon to discuss a list of issues, but he did not mention Russia’s election meddling. (\Adam Berry/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he likely will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin soon to discuss a range of issues — but the Kremlin’s efforts to tinker with U.S. elections did not make his list of possible topics, even as Republican and Democratic senators urged vigilance against Russian attacks. 

Trump said that summit likely would occur “in the not too distant future.” Among the topics: an arms race the American president said is “is getting out of control.”

Opinion: Putin’s Job Is Easy When Americans Do It for Him
Partisan maneuvering undermines the election process

A demonstrator holds up a sign of Vladimir Putin during an anti-Trump “March for Truth” rally on June 3, 2017, in New York City. Putin’s rigged re-election gives him time to meddle in elections elsewhere in world, Mary C. Curtis writes — but given the partisan efforts to affect outcomes in the U.S., he may have little to do here. (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images file photo)

Russian president Vladimir Putin easily cruised to a fourth term this past weekend, surprising absolutely no one. The only nail-biters were how many people would head to the polls — always unpredictable when the victor is certain — and how completely Putin would trounce the token opposition. Now, presumably, the newly re-elected leader can turn his attention to meddling in elections in other countries.

Speaking of the United States, while both Democrats and Republicans would prefer a little more predictability in the November midterms, if not Russian-style oversight, it is members of the GOP who seem most nervous about the eventual outcomes, especially in close House races. And while the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was officially disbanded in January, its spirit lingers on in hints from officials that certain votes should count more than others.

Capitol Ink | The Birds

Amid Reports of McMaster Exit, White House Says Relationship With Trump Is ‘Good’
Could hawish John Bolton be the next national security adviser?

Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, left, was announced as the new national security adviser by President Donald Trump in early 2017 at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. (Jenna Johnson/Washington Post/Print Pool file photo)

President Donald Trump might be ready to fire Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster and bring in his third national security adviser after just 14 months in office — amid signals the president is poised to execute a West Wing purge.

While Trump’s spokeswoman on Thursday night tried to shoot down the notion that McMaster’s ouster is imminent, she did not directly deny it was in the works.

Capitol Ink | Clear Skies Ahead

Rooney Adopts New GOP Line: House Investigations Have ‘Lost All Credibility’
House Intelligence Committee to close Russia investigation

Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., arrives with Alabama GOP Rep. Martha Roby on the West Front of the Capitol before Donald Trump was sworn in as president on Jan. 20, 2017. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional committees can no longer conduct credible investigations without poisoning them with partisan politics, Rep. Tom Rooney said.

“We’ve gone completely off the rails, and now we’re just basically a political forum for people to leak information to drive the day’s news,” the Florida Republican said in an interview Monday with CNN. “We’ve lost all credibility, and we’re going to issue probably two different reports, unfortunately. ... In that regard, that’s why I called for the investigation to end.”

House Intel Republicans Say 'No Collusion' Between Trump and Russia
Release short summary of findings before sharing report with panel Democrats

Rep. K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, became the lead Republican on the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee disagree with the position of every U.S. intelligence agency that Russia wanted Donald Trump to be elected president.

The House Intelligence Committee Republicans said in a short public summary document for a more than 150 page report that they would be, concurring, “with the Intelligence Community Assessment’s judgments, except with respect to [Russian President Vladimir Putin’s] supposed preference for candidate Trump.”

Capitol Ink | Real Estate Diplomacy

Erik Prince to Hold Fundraiser for Rohrabacher
Comes as Trump associate faces scrutiny in Russia investigation

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., will have a fundraiser with Blackwater founder Erik Prince. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Blackwater founder Erik Prince will host a fundraiser for California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher as the Republican faces a tough re-election.

The fundraiser will take place at Prince’s home in Middleburg, Virginia, according to CNN. Prince, a former Navy SEAL who is Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ brother, interned in Rohrabacher’s Capitol Hill office in 1990.