Mike Rounds

House demands to see Trump’s cyberwarfare directive
But senators who oversee the Pentagon are not as concerned

Rep. Jim Langevin chairs the Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities. He’s part of a bipartisan group asking the Trump administration to share its secret cyberwarfare directive. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

A small but significant quarrel is emerging between a bipartisan team of lawmakers in the House and the Trump administration over how the Pentagon is going about using its newly minted authority to strike back against adversaries in cyberspace.

Democratic and Republican leaders of the House Armed Services Committee and its emerging threats subcommittee — in a rare instance of bipartisan pushback against the White House — have repeatedly asked administration officials for a still-secret memo issued by President Donald Trump that lifted earlier restrictions on U.S. Cyber Command’s operations against adversaries.

House to Trump: Cough up cyberwarfare directive
Administration's decision to withhold policy doc from Congress is highly unusual, members say

The Trump administration has has made clear that the Pentagon is boosting its cyber operations — both defensive and, increasingly, offensive. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House on Thursday voted to require the White House to give Congress a cyberwarfare directive that senior members say the administration has refused to turn over for nearly a year.

The language, which would force the administration to turn over “all National Security Presidential Memorandums relating to Department of Defense operations in cyberspace,” sailed through the chamber on a voice vote as part of a package of noncontroversial amendments to the annual defense policy bill.

America is woefully unprepared for cyber-warfare
From hacks to misinformation campaigns, its adversaries are winning in the virtual battleground

The U.S. military is increasingly adept at mounting cyberattacks in places like Russia and Iran, but America’s computers are almost completely defenseless. (iStock)

War in cyberspace is fully on, and the United States is losing it, according to about two dozen national security experts.

The U.S. military is increasingly adept at mounting cyberattacks in places like Russia and Iran, but America’s computers are almost completely defenseless. Without strong protections, offensive attacks can be invitations for disaster instead of deterrents.

S.D. lawmaker accuses Rep. Dusty Johnson of ‘DC-style ambush’ to keep her out of Senate race
Johnson denies accusations of intimidation, said conversation was ‘friendly’

A state lawmaker in South Dakota has accused Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S. D., of trying to intimidate her to keep her out of the race for South Dakota Sen. Mike Rounds’ seat. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A state representative in South Dakota has alleged a “DC-style ambush” to intimidate her into forgoing a run for the Senate.

State Rep. Scyller Borglum said Republican Rep. Dusty Johnson, acting as a surrogate for Sen. Mike Rounds, intimidated her in a private meeting in an effort to dissuade her from launching a primary challenge to Rounds. 

Trump, aides intensify post-Mueller offensive against Democrats
Saying president is ‘open’ to a meeting, Kellyanne Conway asks: ‘Where are they?’

President Donald Trump, alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., talks to the media about the Mueller report before a Senate Republican policy lunch in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senior White House officials continued their post-Mueller report offensive Tuesday against Democrats by contending the opposition party is obsessed with investigating President Donald Trump and unwilling to negotiate on legislation.

The new line of attack came after Trump and his team on Monday went on the offensive by accusing some involved in investigating him with “treasonous” acts and hit Democrats with a charge of attempting to “overthrow” the federal government. But by Tuesday, the White House said it was ready to open talks on infrastructure and drug pricing legislation —alleging that Democrats refuse to come to the table.

Trump takes post-Mueller victory lap to Hill, but ‘he didn't really dwell on it’
Senators say POTUS mostly focused on trade as administration pivots to health care fight

President Donald Trump alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., (left) and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., talks to the media about Robert S. Mueller III’s report upon arriving for the Senate Republican Policy luncheon in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump’s post-Mueller victory lap included a Tuesday strategy session with Senate Republicans, but several members said Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III finding no criminal conspiracy with Russia in 2016 was not the focus of his visit.

“He didn’t really dwell on it. He just simply made it very clear that he felt really good about the fact that their report came out and it said exactly what he had been saying all along that there was, you know, no collusion between him and the Russian government,” Republican Sen. Mike Rounds of South Dakota said.

Ditch Columbus Day? Some Places Already Have
Sen. Mike Rounds’ state celebrates indigenous people instead, and has since 1990

The statue of Christopher Columbus is framed by wreaths left over from the Columbus Day celebration in front of Union Station in Washington in 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

It’s still a federal holiday. But more and more places are moving to replace Columbus Day.

South Dakota did it first, in the 1990s. “It’s about reconciliation. It’s about trying to bring people from different cultures, different backgrounds, different races together,” said Republican Sen. Mike Rounds.

Senators Cheer Trump Order on Election Meddling, but Want More Action
Democrats, especially, are skeptical of president’s commitment

Banking Chairman Michael D. Crapo and ranking Democrat Sherrod Brown have been holding a series of hearings on Russia sanctions. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators are pleased to see the Trump administration doing something about election interference, but they don’t think Wednesday’s executive order will be enough.

Some of the concern comes from the fact that even if federal agencies report evidence of Russian evidence to interfere in the 2018 midterms, President Donald Trump could still waive the imposition of sanctions.

Republicans Won’t Probe Influence of Trump Friends at Veterans Department
Dems have questions about trio named in lawsuit

Veterans Affairs Chairman Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., speaks during a hearing of Veterans Affairs secretary nominee Robert Wilkie in front of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building Wednesday June 27, 2018. (Photo By Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 3:31 p.m. | Top Republican lawmakers have no plans to examine the alleged influence that a trio of President Donald Trump’s friends have at the Department of Veterans Affairs, even as Democrats call for an investigation.

The controversy peaked in recent weeks after reports that Marvel Entertainment Chairman Ike Perlmutter, Palm Beach doctor Bruce Moskowitz and D.C. lawyer Marc Sherman hold undue sway with VA leadership, including senior adviser Peter O’Rourke, who formerly served as acting secretary. Liberal veterans group VoteVets filed a lawsuit against the administration last week, claiming the VA is violating federal protocol related to private influence in matters of federal policy.

For New Veterans Affairs Chief, That Was the Easy Part
Robert Wilkie may have made it through the Senate, but the second-largest federal agency still has vacancies, other woes

Nominee Robert Wilkie is sworn in to testify in front of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee in the Dirksen Building on June 27. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

His confirmation Monday drew scrutiny and nine dissenters. Now Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie must face the real challenge: repairing the sprawling agency that serves the nation’s veterans, including 9 million who receive health care benefits through the department.

The second-largest federal agency is embarking on two major initiatives — a reorganization of its private medical care options and a $15.8 billion electronic health records project — at the same time that it seeks to fill key positions overseeing them.