Dan Coats

Trump Revokes Former CIA Director John Brennan’s Security Clearance
President is reviewing access to one current and eight former officials

President Donald Trump, here on the Hill in June, has revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John O. Brennan, citing his “erratic conduct and behavior.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced he has revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John O. Brennan and is reviewing the status for eight other former officials as well as one current official. 

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders read a statement from Trump on the security clearance reviews at the start of her daily press briefing. 

So... How Does the White House Really Feel About Russia?
Trump undercuts security officials again with ‘the Russian hoax’

President Donald Trump on Thursday dismissed criticism of his Finland summit with Vladimir Putin just hours after his national security team warned Putin is overseeing an ongoing campaign to upend the U.S. political system. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images file photo)

Senior U.S. national security officials were clear Thursday afternoon: The Kremlin was involved in meddling in the 2016 American election and continues to be oversee efforts to do so again. Hours later, however, President Donald Trump described himself and Russian President Vladimir Putin as buddies.

As it often does, the Trump White House on Thursday sent mixed — starkly opposite, really — messages about Moscow’s ongoing hostile actions to upend the American political system and U.S.-Russian relations. The confusion leaves those very officials and lawmakers — including Republicans who have criticized Trump as too weak on Putin — still searching for the official administration stance on election meddling and posture toward America’s Cold War rival.

Russian Election Meddling Remains ‘Pervasive,’ Intel Chief Says
Coats: Kremlin wants to ‘weaken and divide the United States’

President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a joint press conference after their summit last month in Helsinki, Finland. (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

U.S. intel officials continue to see a “pervasive” effort by the Russian government to upend America’s political process, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Thursday.

“Pervasive” is how the former GOP Indiana senator described what U.S. intelligence officials have concluded is a “messaging campaign by Russia to weaken and divide the United States,” Coats said during the daily White House briefing. But what Russia is doing this election cycle is not as “robust” as two years ago — “so far,” he noted.

It’s National Talk in an Elevator Day, Lawmakers Do a Lot of That
Proof: 10 photos of members of Congress talking in elevators

Republican members, including from left, Reps. Eric Cantor, Jeb Hensarling, John Carter and John Boehner, crowd onto an elevator on the 5th floor of the Longworth House Office Building following the House GOP's conference meeting on May 20, 2008. The elevator door would not close until Reps. Eric Cantor, R-Va., and John Carter, R-Texas, got off. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

It’s the weather, the morning commute, how happy you are that it’s Friday. But mostly in the elevator, it’s awkward silence.

Not today!

Gowdy Balks at Democrats’ Motion for Dan Coats to Testify in Public
Oversight chairman doesn’t want another political spectacle like Comey, Strzok hearings

Committee wanted to subpoena Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republicans on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee spiked a motion Tuesday from Democrats to subpoena Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to testify publicly about Russia’s ongoing efforts to interfere in U.S. elections.

Their reason?

Is Trump Building a Nixonian Enemies List?
A Republican chuckled at notion. A Democrat sees ‘authoritarian behavior’

Sens. Tim Kaine, D-Va., left, and James Lankford, R-Okla., right, have very different views of a White House proposal to strip several former Obama administration officials of their security clearances. All have criticized President Donald Trump. Also pictured, Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A Republican lawmaker chuckled. A Democratic senator nodded in emphatic agreement. And a possible 2020 GOP presidential candidate offered nuanced criticism.

How some lawmakers feel about President Donald Trump’s threat to punish political foes who have criticized him — and whether it reminds them of Richard Nixon — depends on how they feel about the president and his unconventional tactics. It makes the issue a microcosm of the Trump presidency.

‘Worst Enemy’: Trump Warns Putin Even as Second Summit in Works
U.S. president breaks with predecessors, criticizes Fed over rate hike

President Donald Trump warned Vladimir Putin and criticized the media and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell in an interview with CNBC. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 8:51 a.m. | President Donald Trump continues to defend his Monday summit with Vladimir Putin and says he wants a second meeting soon — while also warning the Russian president he could become Putin’s “worst enemy.”

A day after his top spokeswoman announced Trump wants a follow-up summit in Washington this fall, the president said this of what would be a controversial visit by the Russian strongman who U.S. intelligence officials say led an interference operation in the 2016 presidential election: “I would say it’s in the works.”

Congresswomen to Trump: Appoint an Election Security Czar
Rice and Stefanik send a letter to the president as talk of Russia grips House floor

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., leaves the House Republicans' last month. Stefanik and Rep. Kathleen Rice wrote a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to appoint an elections security coordinator.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Two New York congresswomen on Thursday urged President Donald Trump to appoint an election security czar to combat election meddling.

Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice and Republican Rep. Elise Stefanik sent a letter calling for a “centralized, senior position” to knock down “silos” and bring together efforts at federal agencies such as the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. 

TBT: 10 Things Dan Coats Will Miss Now That He’s Banned From Russia
Current Intelligence director made a top ten list after being sanctioned by Moscow in 2014

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats was sanctioned by Russia while serving as a senator in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

When Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats served as a Republican senator from Indiana, he was one of several officials sanctioned by Russia.

At the time, Coats borrowed a tradition from fellow Hoosier, comedian David Letterman, in offering up a top ten list of things he would miss after President Vladimir Putin banned him from Russia, as Heard on the Hill featured when it happened in May 2014.

At Trump White House, One Russia Controversy Breeds Another
What did POTUS mean? No one is sure, but he declares Putin summit a ‘success’

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., center, was among those who were confused by the president’s statements about Russia on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump White House on Wednesday returned to a familiar pattern, fighting through multiple self-imposed controversies and confusing even its own allies.

President Donald Trump didn’t personally walk anything back, unlike on Tuesday. He left the mopping up to his top spokeswoman a day after he — in a rare move — admitted a mistake by amending one word of a 45-minute Finland press conference with Vladimir Putin that rattled both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.