Intelligence

Photos of the Week: Immigration Protests and the Congressional Women’s Softball Game
Photos of the week of June 18 as captured by Roll Call's photographers

Aruna Miller, who is running for the Democratic nomination in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District, talks with citizens during early voting at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park in Gaithersburg, Md., on Monday. She stands behind the electioneering line which prevents a candidate from being too close to a voting site. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As always, it was a busy week in Washington as the summer heat hits in full force. The issue of families being separated at the border dominated Hill hearings and led to several protests throughout the capital city.

The Congressional Women’s Softball Game took place on Wednesday with the press team defeating the Congress team 5-0 in a five-inning victory that was called due to rain.

Defense Officials: US Needs Coordinated China Tech Strategy
“China is the embodiment of the military technology transfer challenge”

Michael Griffin, under secretary of Defense for research and engineering, says it’s time to look at China’s efforts as a whole, not as a series of individual actions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Chinese efforts to acquire U.S. intellectual property and technology are pervasive and not limited to cyber theft, defense and intelligence officials told members of the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

Beijing is also investing in U.S. companies, sending students to American universities, embarking on joint business ventures and cheating on trade agreements, said Anthony Schinella, national intelligence officer for military issues at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

At the Races: The Fight for the Forgotten Borough
Our weekly newsletter on congressional campaigns

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Welcome to At the Races! You can keep track of House and Senate races with this weekly newsletter by subscribing here. We want to hear what you think. Email us at attheraces@cqrollcall.com with your questions, tips or candidate sightings. —Simone Pathé and Bridget Bowman

Photos of the Week: A Parade, Virginia Holds Primaries and, of Course, the Baseball Game
The week of June 11 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

A Capitol Visitor Center employee stops to smell the long strands of lei draped on Hawaii’s King Kamehameha statue in the Capitol Visitor Center on Kamehameha Day on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

DOJ Watchdog Report on Comey Stirs Politics on Hill
Sessions calls report an opportunity to learn from past mistakes

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies during a Senate Select Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday. On Friday, President Trump declared feeling “total and complete vindication.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Even before the results of an internal Justice Department probe were released Thursday, that report into former FBI Director James Comey’s actions during the 2016 presidential campaign had reopened deep political divisions and fueled fresh questions about congressional oversight of the agency’s work.

That’s unlikely to change during the upcoming week of hearings and headlines on Capitol Hill about the watchdog’s report, starting with a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing slated for Monday and another before the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees set for Tuesday.

‘Beast’ Mode: Democrats Worry Kim Is Playing Trump
GOP is willing to give him time, but Dems see ‘unprepared’ president

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un participate in a signing ceremony during a Tuesday meeting on Sentosa Island in Singapore. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Kim Jong Un peered inside as a Secret Service agent held open a door of “The Beast,” President Donald Trump’s heavily armored limousine. The surreal moment left some lawmakers speechless, with Democrats saying it showed Trump was too conciliatory toward the North Korean leader during their historic summit.

Trump and Kim wrapped their Singapore summit by signing a preliminary nuclear agreement Tuesday that is as sweeping as it is vague. It expresses the United States is “committed” to providing unspecified security assurances to the North and that Kim “reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

The Other North Korean Threat: Chemical and Biological Weapons
Pentagon acknowledges armed forces are not ready

If North Korea were to attack with chemical and biological weapons, the Pentagon is not confident it is adequately prepared. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Now that the Singapore summit of President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un is in the rearview mirror, major questions remain, particularly about the part of North Korea’s doomsday arsenal that Pyongyang’s military is most likely to use in a war, one that can potentially kill millions of people, and one for which the U.S. military is woefully unprepared: chemical and biological arms.

Nuclear weapons will continue to be the top concern. But they are far from the only one. Specifically, U.S. forces in the region lack sufficient medical countermeasures, protective gear and technology to identify so-called chem-bio agents, Pentagon insiders say. And the troops are insufficiently trained, manned and equipped for such a fight, according to previously unreported Pentagon audits and Army officials. Only about 1 in 3 of the Army’s special units that deal with doomsday agents is fully prepared, the service confirmed.

Senators Could Use Defense Bill to Push Back on Russia
Bipartisan group files amendments seeking to counter Kremlin election interference

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., is among the senators preparing amendments to the defense authorization bill that seek to push back on Russian election interference. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senators could find themselves debating election security this week, including how to counter potential efforts by Russia to mess with this year’s midterms.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle want to use the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill as a venue for amendments related to both protection and response.

Trump Cannot Leave Kim Summit Empty Handed, Lawmakers Say
Sen. Blunt: ‘Something positive has to come out of the first meeting’

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet Tuesday morning in Singapore after trading barbs and threats for over a year. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Nuclear-tinged threats. Name-calling. Missiles flying over Japan. Emergency war council meetings. And now, a face-to-face meeting.

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have sparked fears of a mushroom cloud conflict between two nuclear-armed countries. But in the unpredictable Trump era, their Tuesday morning summit in Singapore seems a fitting next chapter for the two heads of state.

Analysis: Trump Wanted a Fight. He Found One — With His Allies
Lawmakers are split over president’s tough-love approach for Europe, Canada

President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron had a warm state visit in April. But since, relations have soured after Trump slapped  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump was looking for a brawl with some of America’s closest allies Thursday morning. By evening, he had found — no, provoked — one. And lawmakers are split on his tough-love approach.

“Fight.”