2016

Trump Sets Notably Low Bar for Putin Summit
President also calls European Union a ‘foe’ on trade matters

President Donald Trump waves while playing a round of golf on Sunday at Trump Turnberry Luxury Collection Resort in Turnberry, Scotland, during his first official visit to the United Kingdom. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Updated 10:43 a.m. | President Donald Trump has a message for his critics about his upcoming meeting with Vladimir Putin: Don’t worry, it’ll be fine — just trust me. And, in a stunning remark, he called the European Union a “foe” of the United States on trade matters.

Trump continues to set low expectations for Monday’s summit with Putin amid concerns he could give into the Russian leader’s demands while getting little — if anything — in return. 

Indictment: Congressional Candidate Sought Info From Russians
Request for info from Russian operatives came in August 2016

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III announced Friday that a congressional candidate contacted Russian operatives for information in 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The indictment of 12 Russian military officers for attempting to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election revealed that a candidate for Congress sought information from Russia.

The indictment stated that on Aug. 15, 2016, the conspirators posing as the “Guccifer 2.0” online persona received a request for stolen documents from a congressional candidate.

Trump Should Cancel Putin Summit Over Indictments, Democrats Say
Schumer: ‘Putin is an adversary who interfered in our elections’

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and other Democrats called on the president to skip his planned meeting with Vladimir Putin on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats pounced on special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s indictment of a dozen Russian military officers for their efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election, with some saying Monday’s Donald Trump-Vladimir Putin summit should be canceled.

“These indictments are further proof of what everyone but the president seems to understand: President Putin is an adversary who interfered in our elections to help President Trump win,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said in a statement.

Senate Democrats Target Michael Cohen for ‘Selling Access’ to Trump
Former personal attorney to POTUS is key subject in Mueller investigation

Democratic senators criticized former Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen for what one called his “side hustle as influencer-in-chief.” (Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images file photo)

Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney for President Donald Trump, is the target of a new report from Democratic senators who on Friday accused him of “selling access” to the White House through a shell company he formed during the 2016 election campaign.

The senators’ report is based on emails they obtained from Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, which signed a $1.2 million contract with Cohen’s shell company, Essential Consultants LLC, for “consulting and advisory services.”

Goodlatte’s Threat to Hold Strzok in Contempt Most Likely an Empty One
U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia would decide whether to prosecute the charge

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., threatened FBI agent Peter Strzok with contempt of Congress in the opening minutes of Strzok’s first public testimony about his role in 2016 investigations into President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Just minutes into FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok’s first public testimony Thursday about his involvement in two 2016 FBI investigations involving presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte threatened Strzok with a contempt of Congress citation.

But if historical precedent is any indication, Goodlatte’s threat to the embattled witness would lead down a long and winding legal road — that would most likely dead-end at the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia’s desk.

Analysis: Trump’s NATO Antics Suggest UK Visit Could Get Cheeky
President questions emerging Brexit plans ahead of summit with Theresa May

British Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump at a White House press conference in January 2017. They meet again Thursday and Friday in the U.K. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

President Donald Trump bombarded a NATO summit in Belgium with threats, undiplomatic rhetoric, confusion-sowing statements and false claims. Get ready, United Kingdom, you’re next. And he arrived with plenty of thoughts about Brexit. 

Trump has defended his unique style, which gives even some Republican lawmakers heartburn, by describing it as “modern-day presidential.” So what happened Wednesday and Thursday morning in Brussels might be labeled “modern-day diplomatic.”

What to Expect in Peter Strzok’s House GOP Grilling
FBI agent will tell lawmakers his personal opinions never affected his official actions

Peter Strzok arrives at a closed door interview before the House Judiciary Committee in June. Strzok, a former member of the Mueller Russia investigation team, is being scrutinized for text messages exchanged with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page during the Clinton e-mail server investigation. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok will tell lawmakers today that despite a trove of text messages from 2016 that seem to indicate he had an intense personal distaste for President Donald Trump, he has never allowed personal opinions to affect any of his official work at the agency.

“Let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath: Not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took,” Strzok will testify before a joint panel of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees, The Associated Press reported.

Page’s Attorney Slams House Republicans’ ‘Bullying Tactics’
Judiciary Chairman Goodlatte says former FBI lawyer appears to have ‘something to hide’ in refusing subpoena

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said it appeared that former FBI lawyer Lisa Page had “something to hide” after she refused to appear before his committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 10:33 a.m. | The attorney for former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who refused to testify Wednesday before the House Judiciary Committee, said her client plans to testify and that the committee’s “bullying tactics” are unnecessary.

In a statement released Wednesday, Amy Jeffress said Page requires more time.

Analysis: Why Conservatives Tolerate a Stormy Presidency
Kavanaugh picks shows why they were willing to tolerate him, while what they tolerate was performing across town

Stephanie Clifford, also known as adult film star and director Stormy Daniels, arrives for her first night of her two-night appearance surrounded by security at The Cloakroom strip club in Washington on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

On Monday night, President Donald Trump held the big reveal of his Supreme Court reality show.

Ever the one for ratings, Trump knew he won “big league” with social conservatives last year when he nominated Neil Gorsuch to the high court.

Abortion Not Focus of Trump’s SCOTUS Search, Key Adviser Says
Leo breaks with McConnell, says all four finalists would be confirmed by Senate

Pro-life protesters outside of the U.S. Supreme Court in March 2016. A key adviser to President Donald Trump says that abortion rights have not been the focus of interviews with Supreme Court candidates. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Abortion rights have not been the focus of interviews with Supreme Court candidates or internal White House debates about whom to nominate, says a key adviser to President Donald Trump who claims each of the four finalists would be confirmed by the Senate.

On the latter point, Leonard Leo, an executive with the conservative Federalist Society who is advising Trump on his second high court pick, broke with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Kentucky Republican reportedly told Trump and White House counsel Donald McGahn last week that Judges Thomas Hardiman and Raymond Kethledge could be confirmed more easily than Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.