Dan Coats

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.

Spy Agencies Gear Up for Fight Over Surveillance Authority
Battle could echo debate over 2015 Patriot Act renewal

From left, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers, Defense Intelligence Agency Director Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart, and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director Robert Cardillo, appear during a Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee hearing in Hart Building titled "World Wide Threats" on May 11. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The reauthorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act will pit civil liberties advocates who oppose the warrantless eavesdropping authority it provides, against law enforcement agencies that say it’s crucial to their efforts to combat terrorism.

The provision allows law enforcement to snoop on the communications of foreigners believed to be overseas, although American officials acknowledge that the communications of Americans are sometimes swept up as well — something known as “incidental collection.”

Acting FBI Chief Promises to Keep Congress in Loop
Andrew McCabe: I’ll Tell You if White House Meddles on Russia

Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe prepares to testify during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on "World Wide Threats" on Thursday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The acting director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, promised lawmakers Thursday that he would inform them if the bureau’s investigation into possible ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia faces any political interference from the White House.

McCabe, a veteran FBI officer who took over at the bureau in an acting capacity after President Donald Trump’s stunning decision Tuesday to fire James B. Comey, also said the FBI’s work continues “despite any changes in circumstance.” He added that there has been “no effort to impede our investigation to date.”

Comey Invited to Testify on Tuesday
Senate Intelligence Committee wants to hear from former FBI director

Fromer FBI Director James Comey had been scheduled to testify before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee on Thursday. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Defeated Lawmakers Trek From the Hill to Middle Earth — And Beyond
Life after Congress has included ambassadorships for dozens

Former Sen. Scott Brown was nominated by President Donald Trump to be U.S. ambassador to New Zealand. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

If three makes a trend and four creates a pattern, then dispatching favored congressional losers to New Zealand has become not just a sliver but a pillar of the American diplomatic order. 

When Scott Brown takes over the embassy in Wellington by this summer — his confirmation virtually assured thanks to the endorsements of both Democratic senators who have defeated him — the onetime matinee idol for Republican centrists will become the fourth former member of Congress who’s assumed that particular ambassadorship after being rejected by the voters.

Senior WH Official: ‘Military Preparations’ Are Underway for N. Korea
U.S. soon will attempt to influence Kim via ‘economic dimension of national power’

A North Korean ballistic missile during a “Victory Day” parade in 2013. A senior Trump administration official on Wednesday alluded to “military preparations” underway to possibly confront the North. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

The Trump administration is preparing a range of options — including plans for military operations — to deal with North Korea and its nuclear arms and missile programs.

National security officials are crafting possible diplomatic, economic and military responses to deal with the Hermit Kingdom, a senior administration official told reporters Wednesday at the White House.

Congress Wants to Hear Trump’s Syria Policy — and Fast
Members say Trump needs to consult them before taking any more action

The top Democrats on Capitol Hill, Charles E. Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, both advocate a role for Congress in future actions in Syria by the Trump administration. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle say they are waiting to hear President Donald Trump’s plan for his next step in Syria.

Many lawmakers — including some of Trump’s most vocal critics — offered support in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. bombing of a Syrian airbase Thursday night. But they said Trump needs to consult Congress before he takes any more steps.

In Abrupt Reversal, Trump Fires Cruise Missiles at Syria
President: Strikes in ’vital national security interest’

President Donald Trump arrives back at the White House on Feb. 6. On Thursday night, he ordered missile strikes on a Syrian air base in response to the regime’s use of chemical weapons on civilians (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

By JOHN T. BENNETT and BRIDGET BOWMANCQ Roll Call

In an abrupt policy reversal, President Donald Trump on Thursday evening ordered missile strikes on a Syrian air base after that country’s embattled regime carried out a deadly sarin gas attack that killed dozens of civilians.

The Bipartisan Effort to Make Senate History
Lack of Senate retirements could be unprecedented

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein appears more likely to run for a fifth full term. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

For all of the moaning and groaning about Washington being dysfunctional, members of Congress aren’t exactly tripping over each other to get out of town.

So far, all of the Republican and Democratic senators up for re-election this cycle seem intent on seeking another term. And if that trend continues, it would be historic. 

Opinion: And Now for Something Easy, Like Tax Reform
Legislation will need Democratic votes to succeed

UNITED STATES — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wants to get tax reform passed and signed by August. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Health care reform did not go well for the White House last week. OK, it blew up. But Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is still bullish about getting tax reform passed and signed by August. 

“Health care and tax reform are two very different things,” he told Mike Allen of Axios last Friday, hours before the Obamacare vote was canceled amid GOP infighting. “Health care is a very complicated issue … in many ways, [tax reform] is a lot simpler. It really is.”