foreign-policy

Trump’s Germany Criticism Denied — Then Confirmed — By Aides
Report: U.S. president called Germans ‘bad, very bad’ on trade tactics

President Donald Trump approaches German Chancellor Angela Merkel as world leaders arrive for their group photo at the G7 summit in Taormina, Italy, on Friday. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

The White House is sending mixed signals about a report that President Donald Trump blasted Germany over its auto exports to the United States, the first major dustup during his inaugural foreign trip.

The Germans are bad, very bad,” President Trump allegedly said, according to German news magazine Der Spiegel, citing sources who were in the room. “See the millions of cars they sell in the U.S., terrible. We will stop this.”

Senators Make Another Bid to Authorize War Against ISIS
Flake and Kaine have tried before

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake is introducing another proposal for authorizing the use of military force against ISIS. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“When I voted in 2001 to authorize military force against the perpetrators of the September 11th attacks, I had no idea I would be authorizing armed conflict for more than fifteen years, and counting.”

That’s what Sen. Jeff Flake said Thursday. The Arizona Republican was announcing yet another effort with Sen. Tim Kaine, a Virginia Democrat, to get Congress to go on record to authorize the use of military force against the Islamic State and other terror groups.

White House Middle East Victory Lap Draws Skepticism
Aides pushing a win, but headaches await return from region

President Donald Trump delivers a statement with Israeli President Reuven Rivlinon on Monday in Jerusalem. The White House says its first Middle East visit was a big success, but some Democrats are skeptical. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

The White House is describing President Donald Trump’s first dose of Middle East diplomacy as a “historic” success, but some lawmakers are skeptical that the optimistic rhetoric will become policy, and at least one is looking to block a major announcement from the trip. 

Trump spent all or parts of four days huddling with Muslim and Israeli leaders before heading to Europe on Tuesday afternoon. So confident was the White House that the first leg of Trump’s overseas diplomatic debut had gone well that they did not wait to land in Italy to declare victory.

East Jerusalem Should Be Palestinian Capital, Abbas Insists
Israelis reject that notion showing Trump how tough a peace pact will be

Demonstrators hold posters during a protest against U.S. President Donald Trump next to the American consulate on Monday night in Jerusalem. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

Updated at 7:44 a.m. President Donald Trump continued to press for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal during a stop in Bethlehem, but comments by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas showed just how difficult such a pact will be.

As Trump said Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu have assured him they want to “work towards that goal in good faith,” the Palestinian leader laid down a key marker for potential talks that his Israeli counterparts have rejected in the past.

Lawmakers React to Latest Trump-Russia Bombshell: ‘What Now?!’
Report: President asked two top intel officials to deny collusion with Moscow

President Donald Trump speaks during a joint statment with Israel's President Reuven Rivlin at the President's House on May 22, 2017 in Jerusalem, Israel. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

BY JOHN T. BENNETT, LINDSEY McPHERSON AND REMA RAHMAN

Lawmakers on Monday evening seemed resigned to yet another bombshell report suggesting President Donald Trump attempted to interfere with a federal investigation aimed at, in part, determining whether there was collusion between his campaign and the Russia government.

No Apology for Israel Over Trump’s Disclosure to Russians
Tillerson: ‘I don’t know that there’s anything to apologize for’

President Donald Trump (L) speaks during a joint statement with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem on Monday. (Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump does not plan to apologize to Israeli leaders for disclosing sensitive intelligence provided by the Jewish country to senior Russian diplomats.

Asked by reporters Monday on Air Force One if Trump will apologize to Israeli leaders for sharing password-only classified intelligence about an Islamic State plot to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson replied: “I don’t know that there’s anything to apologize for.”

Hill and Mueller Don’t Have to Clash, but It Will Not Be Easy
Congressional inquiries and prosecutors have different purposes, but the same witnesses

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel for the Russia investigation was greeted positively by lawmakers, but they disagreed on the effect his probe will have on their own investigations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Congressional inquiries and special counsels can productively coexist, serving complementary purposes because of their reciprocal approaches, unless they’re unable to settle inevitable fights over the same documents and star witnesses.

That may be the best response to a question many on Capitol Hill started asking as soon as Robert S. Mueller III was appointed to run the government’s probe of Russian interference in last year’s election and whether Moscow collaborated with President Donald Trump’s campaign:

‘Law and Order’ President Meets Ultimate Lawman
Should Trump be concerned? ‘Absolutely,’ GOP strategist says

Sources and lawmakers describe former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a “superstar” and highly qualified to head the Russia investigation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Donald Trump is fond of describing himself as a “law-and-order” president. Suddenly, however, the fate of his presidency could be decided by a man who embodies that characterization: Robert Mueller, a true lawman’s lawman.

The irony is thicker than a column on the White House’s North Portico. And for Trump, his party and the republic, the stakes could not be higher.

Report: Trump Told Russians Comey Firing Relieved ‘Great Pressure’
Close WH aide to president allegedly a person of interest to FBI

President Donald Trump walks toward Marine One before departing from the White House on April 28. Two reports out Friday allege he told Russian officials firing FBI Director James Comey helped him, and that a close aide is a person of interest in a FBI probe of the 2016 election. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Trump reportedly told senior Russian officials that firing FBI Director James Comey relieved “great pressure” on him because of allegations of nefarious ties between his campaign and Russia. And another report places a senior White House official as a “person of interest” in the bureau’s ongoing investigation.

“I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job,” the New York Times reported Friday, citing a document that summarizes his Oval Office meeting earlier this month with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Moscow’s ambassador to Washington.

Trump: Special Counsel Part of Biggest ‘Witch Hunt’ in U.S. History
On Wednesday, POTUS said ‘no politician in history has been treated worse’

President Donald Trump broke his silence on a special prosecutor looking into possible connections between his campaign and Russia. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Bill and Hillary Clinton complained of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” during the 42nd presidency. Donald Trump increasingly portrays the 45th as plagued by the biggest “witch hunt” in American history.

Trump had been uncharacteristically silent on Twitter since the New York Times reported Tuesday evening that then-FBI Director James Comey had crafted a memo detailing a Feb. 14 conversation during which the president allegedly asked him to drop a criminal probe of the national security adviser he had fired the day before, Michael Flynn.