Intelligence

Trump Confirms Pompeo Met With North Korea’s Kim Jong Un
Diplomacy better than ‘comparing the size of our nuclear buttons,’ Schiff says

South Koreans watch a television broadcast reporting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping at Seoul Railway Station in March. (Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images file photo)

Updated 7:49 a.m. | President Donald Trump confirmed Wednesday that CIA Director Mike Pompeo, his nominee to become secretary of state, met last week with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“Meeting went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed. Details of Summit are being worked out now. Denuclearization will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea,” Trump tweeted.

Roy Blunt: Playing the Inside Game and Scoring
Missouri’s GOP senator is proof the popular outsider play isn’t the only winning route

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., regained the chairmanship of the Rules and Administration Committee last week.  (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

In a political world where running against Washington has become one of the easiest paths to getting there, and where the ultimate outsider neophyte is president, Roy Blunt stands out as proof that the opposite approach sometimes still works.

Few in today’s Congress have succeeded as well, and for as long, at the inside game — where influence is cultivated and sustained by combining broad political and policy expertise along with deep interpersonal skill.

Intel Committee Democrats Renew Calls to Declassify Parts of Haspel’s Record
Members express concerns about public information campaign supporting CIA director nominee

Sens. Ron Wyden and Martin Heinrich joined Dianne Feinstein on a letter calling for declassification of information about Gina Haspel, who has been nominated to replace Mike Pompeo as the head of the CIA. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A trio of Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee are signaling they have seen problematic classified information about CIA director nominee Gina Haspel’s career at the agency.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Ron Wyden of Oregon made the assertion in a letter sent Friday to CIA Director Mike Pompeo that was circulated publicly on Monday.

Trump Fires Back at Comey, Calling Him a ‘Slime Ball’
Fired FBI director calls president untruthful in his new book

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies during the Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing in June. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump fired back at former FBI Director James Comey Friday morning, calling him an “untruthful slime ball” and saying it was an honor to terminate him.

The president delivered the broadside via a pair of tweets less than 12 hours after leaked excerpts of Comey’s new memoir were published by several media outlets who received advanced copies. In it, the career law enforcement officer pulls few punches, painting a portrait of a self-obsessed chief executive who struggles to tell the truth and operates like a mob boss.

Pompeo Confirms Mueller Interview
Secretary of state nominee testified before Senate Foreign Relations panel

CIA Director Mike Pompeo, right, President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of State, greets Sen. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo told senators at his confirmation hearing Thursday he has been questioned by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III in his investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives.

Specifically, Mueller questioned the current CIA chief on a West Wing conversation last March with President Donald Trump and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats in which the president reportedly asked Coats to get then-FBI head James B. Comey to drop his investigation into  former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Nunes, Meadows Threaten to Impeach DOJ, FBI Officials Over Russia Documents
Reps give Rod Rosenstein and Chris Wray a Wednesday deadline to turn over unredacted copy

Devin Nunes, R-Calif., talks with reporters after a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol. Nunes told FBI and Justice Department officials to hand over the document that launched the Russia investigation or face impeachment. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Reps. Devin Nunes and Mark Meadows both said they are prepared to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Chris Wray if they do not produce the document that started the investigation into President Donald Trump’s potential ties with Russia in the 2016 election.

Congress put out a subpoena on the initial report that launched the Russia investigation in August, but the FBI has not yet released an unredacted version of the document. Nunes, the House Intelligence Committee chairman, set Wednesday as the deadline for officials to turn over the documents before he makes a decision on contempt and impeachment.

Senators Face Off With Zuckerberg in Marathon Hearing
Joint hearing starts off with pop, brings unexpected questions, and then gradually fades

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified during the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“Mr. Zuckerberg, would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?”

Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin asked that of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg nearly two hours into Tuesday afternoon’s headline-grabbing Senate hearing.

Zuckerberg Testimony: 5 Things You Should Know So Far
Questioning ranges from chocolate to Palantir

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies during the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee joint hearing on “Facebook, Social Media Privacy, and the Use and Abuse of Data” on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“I’m sorry,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during his opening remarks to a Senate hearing. The social media wunderkind took responsibility for the violations of Facebook users’ data privacy.

It set the tone for the questioning, signaling to senators that Zuckerberg came to Washington to cooperate — or at least give the appearance of doing so. If a February deep dive by WIRED is true, Zuck and Co. are soul-searching.

Many Lawmakers Questioning Zuckerberg Used Facebook in Their Political Campaigns
All Have Verified Facebook Pages

CEO Mark Zuckerberg boards an elevator after meeting with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in the Hart Building on Monday. Zuckerberg is on Capitol Hill to testify before the House and Senate this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The lawmakers questioning Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg are not strangers to politics on Facebook — many have paid to use its microtargeted advertising technology in campaigns.

In all, 43 lawmakers sit on the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees, along with 55 on the House Energy and Commerce panel. And every one of them has a verified Facebook page.

Syria Strife May Cause a Trump Shift Lawmakers Like
‘We need to make Bashar al-Assad pay a price,’ Sen. Roger Wicker says

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., holds up the iconic photo of a young dead Syrian boy as he addresses the Syrian crisis during a news conference on Capitol Hill in December 2015. At left, Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump may be forced to change his mind — again. But this time, an about-face on Syria would likely bring accolades from many lawmakers who have been frustrated by his ever-shifting stances.

Another example of Trump going off course only to return to it days later could emerge early this week with the situation in Syria. Reports of a chemical weapons attack by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s military on the rebel-held area of Douma might prompt Trump to alter his stance of pulling U.S. forces from the war-torn country.