Foreign Policy

Kushner to Tell Senators ‘I Did Not Collude’ With Russians
Statement downplays contacts, but shows Trump team’s desire for a thaw with Putin

President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is expected to tell the Senate Intelligence Committee that his meetings with Russians were normal and innocent. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated at 9:06 a.m. | Jared Kushner is set to tell the Senate Intelligence Committee he was unaware that Donald Trump Jr. took a meeting with a Russian lawyer expecting to be given Kremlin-provided dirt on Hillary Clinton.

In prepared remarks the president’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser will deliver to the panel behind closed doors later Monday, Kushner will reject the notion that he or other Trump campaign staffers had nefarious ties with Moscow during the 2016 campaign.

Tiptoes on the Hill Back Into War Debate
A bipartisan push for Trump to seek fresh authority to combat terrorism

Soldiers with the New York Army National Guard patrol in New York City’s Penn Station in June following a terrorist attack in London. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Sixteen years on, Congress seems to be getting genuinely close to forcing itself into a fresh debate on how to prescribe the use of military force against terrorism.

Writing a new war authorization will not happen before the end of the year, meaning those deliberations would be influenced by the dynamics of the midterm election campaign. But proposals to force the issue onto the agenda have the potential to blossom into sleeper hits on this summer’s remarkably blockbuster-deprived roster of consequential legislation.

A Friendly Face: Pence Deployed to Governors
Former Indiana governor knows the crowd well

Vice President Mike Pence, seen here on Capitol Hill on Tuesday with Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Donald Trump, will address health care, education and infrastructure at the NGA conference in Rhode Island on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Vice President Mike Pence on Friday will continue his quiet campaign as the Trump administration’s ultimate inside player when he tries to convince governors to view President Donald Trump as a partner on issues such as health care and infrastructure.

With Trump in France participating in that country’s Bastille Day festivities, Pence is being deployed to the National Governors Association conference in Rhode Island. It will be a familiar role for Pence, a former Indiana chief executive, who also is a former House GOP leader who meets weekly with his congressional colleagues.

Senators Seek to Follow White House Action on North Korea
Lawmakers hope to ratchet up economic pressure on Pyongyang

Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner is one of a handful of lawmakers pushing sanctions legislation on North Korea. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators from both sides of the aisle are hoping to move quickly on legislation that would put further economic pressure on North Korea in the aftermath of the country’s first successful launch of a long-range ballistic missile.

The bills, which would, among other things, impose additional economic sanctions on financial institutions that do business with Pyongyang, are the latest in a line of major foreign policy matters before the chamber in the early tenure of a presidency that largely lacks the traditional diplomatic experience of past administrations.

Former Defense Official Taking on Michigan’s Mike Bishop
Elissa Slotkin is former acting assistant secretary of Defense

Elissa Slotkin worked in defense and intelligence in the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. (CrowdPAC.com)

Former Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense Elissa Slotkin announced a challenge to Michigan GOP Rep. Mike Bishop in the 8th District Monday.

Slotkin left government service and moved back to her family’s farm in Holly this spring, where she now runs her own consulting firm. 

Trump Blasts DNC, Podesta as ‘Disgraceful’ Ahead of Putin Meeting
Despite being on foreign soil, president lambasts Democrats over election email hacking

President Donald Trump talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron as they arrive for the first working session of the G-20 Nations Summit on Friday in Hamburg, Germany. (Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)

For the second consecutive day, Donald Trump shunned longstanding protocol by criticizing fellow Americans on foreign soil when he lambasted the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief.

On Thursday while in Warsaw, the president criticized America’s intelligence agencies, a former U.S. president (Barack Obama) and his country’s news media. A day later, before departing the house where he is staying in Hamburg, Germany, for the G-20 summit, Trump went after the DNC and John Podesta.

Analysis: Trump Sets Tone for Putin Meeting
In Poland, president talks tough on Russian ‘destabilizing activities’

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with President Donald Trump at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, on Friday. (Etienne Oliveau/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump on Thursday set the tone for his upcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, using his most direct rhetoric yet toward Moscow when he urged the Kremlin to “cease its destabilizing activities.”

When Trump and Putin hold a formal meeting Friday during the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, it will be one of the most anticipated meetings between an American and a Russian leader in some time. The U.S. president used a Thursday speech to the Polish people in Warsaw to set the tone, making clear he wants Putin to alter course while stating clearly his commitment to NATO’s mutual defense pact, established in large part to deter Soviet, and later Russian, aggression.

3 Things to Watch as Trump Heads to Poland, Germany
First one-on-one with Putin will headline G-20 summit

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin in October. The two will be among the G-20 leaders President Donald Trump will join for a summit Friday in Hamburg, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump landed in Warsaw, Poland, under the cover of darkness Wednesday but there will be no hiding from the spotlight during his two-day European visit that will include a much-anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump is slated to deliver what national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster described last week as a “major speech” to the Polish people on Thursday. A day later, the president will be in Hamburg, Germany, for a meeting of the leaders of 20 rich and developing countries.

In Tax Return Secrecy, Congress Unites
What some lawmakers said when we asked for copies of their returns

Only 37 of 532 members of Congress responded when Roll Call asked for copies of their tax returns. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

No matter what their political affiliation, members of Congress have this in common: They don’t like releasing their tax returns. Only 37 of the 532 members of the House and Senate responded when Roll Call asked for copies of their tax returns over several weeks, starting in April. Most of them declined to release their tax returns.

Here are some of their responses.

Coons: Senate Can Reassert Foreign Policy Clout
Chance to ‘make the Senate great again’

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., suggests that the Trump Administration’s conflicting statements provide the Senate with an opportunity to reassert its clout on foreign policy matters.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Trump administration’s often conflicting statements regarding foreign affairs have provided the Senate an opportunity to reassert its clout in directing U.S. foreign policy, Sen. Chris Coons suggests. 

In a public sit-down conversation with former Sec. of State Madeleine Albright on U.S. global leadership this week, the Delaware Democrat said that “one unexpected outcome of the Trump administration may be to make the Senate great again” by forcing the chamber to draft bipartisan legislation to fill the gaps the Trump administration leaves.