intelligence

Possible Trump-Macron Split Fuels European Power Vacuum
Bromance burned bright at first, but presidents spent weekend trading barbs

President Donald Trump, right, and French President Emmanuel Macron in April at the White House, when the two had a closer relationship than was in evidence in recent days. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Donald Trump is pushing away one of his few close allies, French President Emmanuel Macron, as experts warn of an emerging European power vacuum and some GOP lawmakers defend the U.S. president’s latest brash move.

The two presidents have little in common but quickly became unlikely allies. Trump is a businessman and former reality television star. Macron was a philosophy major who became a finance and economic wonk. A bromance developed, and Trump feted Macron during an official visit that included a private dinner at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate and an elegant state dinner at the White House.

U.S. Aware of All North Korea Nuclear Work, Trump Says Despite Report
President responds to report about alleged deception by Kim Jong Un

South Koreans watch on a screen reporting on the U.S. President Trump meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the Seoul Railway Station on June 12. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday denied that North Korea is moving ahead with its nuclear weapons program despite a pledge from Kim Jong Un to freeze all such work.

Citing satellite images, the New York Times reported Monday that Kim is continuing work at sites he promised to Trump would cease while the two leaders — and, sometimes, their staffs — try to strike a denuclearization deal.

Mark Warner Welcomes Amazon, But Warns Big Tech
Top Democrat on Senate Intelligence wants to see more data transparency from Facebook, others

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., is welcoming Amazon to Arlington County. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

One of the Senate’s most tech-savvy members is applauding Amazon’s decision to locate half of HQ2 in Crystal City, but he had some strong language for the technology industry at large when it comes to data privacy.

Sen. Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat who resides not far from the part of Northern Virginia that is now slated for investment and redevelopment as an Amazon campus with 25,000 jobs, said he hoped the move would further catalyze a regional technology industry boom.

Trump-Macron Bromance Shows More Signs of Fading
U.S. president offers French counterpart mocking lecture on securing Europe

President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron head for Marine One following a tree-planting ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in April. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

Are President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron headed for a Trans-Atlantic breakup?

After Trump’s rocky and controversial visit to Paris, which included some less-than-warm body language toward his younger French counterpart, the unlikely bromance appears to have hit choppy waters. Many U.S. lawmakers — Republican and Democrat — have warned Trump to avoid alienating close allies and want him to end a nasty trade flap with the EU. 

House Intelligence Committee Staff Director Damon Nelson Dies
Nelson had worked for Devin Nunes since he came to Congress in 2003

Damon Nelson, staff director for the House Intelligence Committee, died Saturday following a brief illness. (Courtesy the House Intelligence Committee.)

Damon Nelson, the staff director for the House Intelligence Committee, died Saturday following a brief illness.

Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, Nelson’s boss, shared the news in a statement expressing “deep sorrow” for the death of his employee and friend. The California Republican did not provide further detail about Nelson’s illness. Nelson died at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Maryland.

Flake Interested in Own Future, Not Protecting Mueller Probe, Trump Says
Arizona Republican has not ruled out challenging Trump in 2020

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., was the target of more harsh words from President Trump on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

President Donald Trump lashed out Friday at retiring GOP Sen. Jeff Flake, accusing the Arizona Republican of putting his own possible presidential ambitions ahead of actually protecting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Flake said Thursday that he and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons would try to call up legislation designed to protect Mueller when the Senate returns for the lame-duck session next week. In a tweet about the bipartisan bill, Flake said, “After the firing of The AG, it is more important than ever to protect the Special Counsel.”

Three Things to Watch When Trump, Putin Land in Paris
Analysts: ‘Trump is operating from an assumption that he can bully our allies’

President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron attend a Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees on July 14, 2017 in Paris. Macron will host Trump and other world leaders this weekend to mark the 100th anniversary of World War I Armistice Day. (Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images)

Three days after Republicans lost control of the House, President Donald Trump departed Friday for a diplomatic weekend in Paris that will put him face-to-face with Russian President Vladimir Putin as Democrats with their newfound House majority prepare to explore that relationship more deeply.

Trump campaigned on warming relations with Moscow after things chilled under former President Barack Obama, and kept up that hope for much of his first year in office. But lately, even the 45th president has shown with Putin, expressing doubt that things will get better anytime soon. Trump’s administration has repeatedly implemented sanctions and other tough-on-Russia policies that have further chilled relations.

Here’s How a House Democratic Majority Might Protect Mueller If Trump Fires Him
With power to investigate and subpoena, Democrats have options to protect special counsel

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., will be one of the Democratic leaders in charge of protecting special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats, with their new majority, will have an expansive new toolkit once they take control of the chamber on Jan. 3 to protect special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation — even if acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker decides to shut it down.

If President Donald Trump, through Whitaker or his full-time replacement, does indeed order Mueller to shutter his investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election, that would trigger a quick response from Democrats. In two months, they will wield the all-important power of subpoenaing officials.

‘I Haven’t Seen Any Russians,’ Arizona Candidate Says in Sputnik Interview
GOP candidate Wendy Rogers under fire for interview with Russian outlet seen as Putin propaganda tool

Wendy Rogers, candidate for Arizona’s 1st District, did an interview with a Russian state-owned news agency. (Thomas McKinless/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The midterm election news blitz will come to a close soon, but one Arizona Republican candidate’s interview with a Russian government-owned news agency is drawing criticism on Election Day. 

Wendy Rogers did an interview earlier this month with Sputnik News, which NATO officials have accused of being part of a “Kremlin propaganda machine” distributing biased articles and “misinformation” to influence political opinion around the world.

Trump Returns to Rocks Versus Bullets Debate
Caravan in Mexico continues to provide fuel for the campaign trail fire

Central American asylum seekers wait as U.S. Border Patrol agents take groups of them into custody on June 12, 2018 near McAllen, Texas. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Returning to the topic of whether he would order the military and law enforcement to shoot people who throw rocks, President Donald Trump on Friday said migrants who throw stones at the border will be arrested, not shot.

“They won’t have to fire. What I don’t want is I don’t want these people throwing rocks,” Trump said on the White House’s South Lawn. “They do that with us, they’re going to be arrested.”