Richard M Burr

Tech Companies Get an Earful From Intelligence Committee
Senators accuse executives of just not getting extent of Russian meddling

Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., left, and ranking member Mark Warner, D-Va., have challenged technology companies for their response to Russian interference in the 2016 election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Big technology companies faced a second day of public lashing on Capitol Hill, with the Senate Intelligence Committee accusing companies of a lackluster response to Russian meddling in the 2016 election. 

On Tuesday, executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter told the Senate Judiciary Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee that ads and automated non-advertising content generated by Moscow-backed companies reached hundreds of millions of Americans during the 2016 election — a number that is far higher than previous estimates offered by the companies.

How Monday’s Indictments Might Connect to Senate’s Russia Probe
Manafort met with the Senate Intelligence Committee months ago

A car said to be transporting former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort leaves the FBI’s Washington Field Office after Manafort turned himself in to the agency Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The three Trump campaign associates headlining Monday’s news have been known quantities to Senate investigators investigating Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. 

But the unsealing of a court filing showing that former campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos had already pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI and is a cooperating witness in the investigation led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III probably explains why he has been elusive.

Analysis: An Odd Sequence of Russia-Related Events
There were signs aplenty that something was coming in the Russia inquiry

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is leading the probe into Russian intervention in the U.S. presidential campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The puzzle pieces were strewn about the board late last week, several small fragments waiting to be put together. There were signs aplenty something was coming in the congressional and federal probes into Russia’s 2016 election meddling, but in isolation, each piece failed to reveal much.

A relatively quiet day at the White House was upended Friday evening by a CNN report that Justice Department special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is poised to reveal formal charges against individuals who once had ties to or remain close to President Donald Trump. Other major media outlets matched the report, which came after several brow-furrowing developments that suggested increased activity in the federal inquiry.

Word on the Hill: Staffer Defends Her ‘Liddle’ Boss
Fitness trends, staffer shuffles, and a new book

Micah Johnson walks with her boss Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, center, as they get off the Senate subway in May 2016. Also pictured, North Carolina Sen. Richard M. Burr. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The president may be calling out lawmakers but congressional staffers have their bosses backs.

Micah Johnson, communications director for retiring Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., who has been in a war of words with President Donald Trump, defended her boss when she tweeted a cartoon mocking the president.

Bipartisan Tax Bill More Durable, GOP Says After White House Meeting
Toomey sees overlap, but Democrats show little enthusiasm

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, seated left, South Dakota Sen. John Thune, seated center, and Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, standing center, were among the Finance Committee members who met with President Donald Trump on Wednesday about a tax overhaul bill. Also pictured, Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, standing right. (Chris Maddaloni/Roll Call File Photo)

After huddling Wednesday with President Donald Trump and a handful of Democrats, Senate Republican tax writers said an overhaul bill that secures bipartisan support would be more “durable” than a GOP-only path. 

Senate Republicans are moving ahead with plans to ensure a tax bill could pass with as few as 50 GOP votes, with Vice President Mike Pence casting the tie-breaking vote. But after a White House meeting with Trump and five Senate Finance Committee Democrats, three GOP members on that panel said they agree with the president that a bipartisan bill is preferable.

Pro-Trump Great America Alliance Endorses in Three Senate Primaries
Rosendale, Morrisey and Blackburn received the group’s backing

Great American Alliance endorsed Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s bid for Senate on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Great America Alliance, an issue advocacy organization supporting President Donald Trump, on Wednesday made its first three Senate endorsements for the 2018 midterms.

Great America Alliance is backing Montana Auditor Matt Rosendale, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey and Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn. All three Republicans are seeking the GOP nod for Senate in their states.

Opinion: Bob Corker and the Chairmen Who Hold Trump’s Fate in Their Hands
Alienating key GOP senators unwise for the president

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker is among the key Senate chairmen that President Donald Trump has lied about, demeaned, ignored or otherwise alienated, Murphy writes. (Tom Williams/Roll Call File Photo)

We all know that Washington is about relationships. I’ve gotten some of my best scoops (so to to speak) at the dog park and met some of my best sources on “Wing Night” at the Capitol Lounge years ago. On Capitol Hill, good bills have died over years-long grudges, while mediocre bills have gotten by on, “Well, I just like the guy (or lady).”

With a huge legislative agenda to pass and a major international incident looming in North Korea, you’d think that President Donald Trump would be rallying his fellow Republicans to his side, especially the most senior leaders who could shepherd his agenda through the Hill. Instead, he has attacked, lied about, demeaned, ignored or otherwise alienated a host of GOP senators, including the ones crucial to his efforts to build a wall, pass tax reform, reform health care and, if it came to it, escape impeachment.

New Foreign Surveillance Bill Would Boost Privacy Protections
Top House Judiciary leaders reached decision last week

House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte and ranking member John Conyers Jr. introduced the so-called USA Liberty Act on Friday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte and the panel’s top Democrat Rep. John Conyers Jr. reached agreement last week on a new bill that would tighten privacy protections in a surveillance law considered vital by U.S. intelligence agencies.

The bill’s attempt to shore up civil liberties runs contrary to what the White House and intelligence agencies have sought, and is likely to face opposition from a group of national security hawks in the Senate who back the Trump administration position.

Opinion: A Fake Senate Hearing on Fake News
What if the Intelligence Committee took up the president’s request

North Carolina Sen. Richard M. Burr, right, and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner lead the Senate Intelligence Committee, which President Donald Trump called on recently to look into “Fake News Networks.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Under Donald Trump’s interpretation of the Constitution, when the president tweets, the Senate must take action immediately.

So it was with Trump’s pointed suggestion last week, filled with the kind of oddball capitalization normally found in ransom notes: “Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!”

Photos of the Week: SCOTUS Is Back, Gun Debate Reignited and Federal Budget Steps
The week of Oct. 2 as captured by Roll Call’s photographers

West Virginia Sens. Joe Manchin III and Shelley Moore Capito talk during their news conference on the introduction of the American Miners Pension Act in the Capitol on Tuesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Supreme Court began its new term this week and heard oral arguments in a case that could determine whether political redistricting is constitutional. And after the Sunday night massacre in Las Vegas, GOP lawmakers appeared Thursday to be coalescing around a bill that would ban bump stocks, a type of device that effectively transforms a semi-automatic rifle into an automatic.

Also this week: The House passed a budget resolution for fiscal year 2018, as the Senate began committee consideration of its own resolution. These steps are meant to pave the way for a tax overhaul measure.