Tom Cotton

Dems Blame Trump for Nixed Kim Summit, GOP Applauds Move
President warns North Korea, saying U.S. military is ‘ready’

President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he walks across the South Lawn while departing the White House on Tuesday for New York. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Updated 12:28 p.m. | Democratic lawmakers said Thursday that President Donald Trump canceled a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un because his administration was ill-prepared for the sensitive talks, but GOP members hailed the move as strategically prudent.

A few hours after the White House released a letter he penned to Kim informing him the talks are off — for now, at least — Trump delivered a hawkish warning to the North Korean dictator. The U.S. commander in chief said his military is “ready” and “by far” the most powerful in the world, contending it has been “greatly enhanced.”

Trump Administration Tries to Reassure Key Senators About ZTE Enforcement
Cornyn said administration is making clear national security and trade are in separate buckets

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said the defense authorization is expected to address ZTE. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Trump administration is trying to reassure Senate Republicans that it won’t go light on sanctions enforcement against Chinese communications equipment firm ZTE.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross huddled with a group of key GOP senators Wednesday evening.

Sinema Breaks Record at ACLI Capital Challenge Race
Wisconsin Rep. Mike Gallagher is fastest member of Congress for second year in a row

Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, number 120, watches as Reps. Mike Gallagher and Kyrsten Sinema celebrate their victories at Wednesday’s ACLI Capital Challenge. (Bian Elkhatib/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 1:30 p.m. | Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona was the fastest female lawmaker and set a new course record for her division at the 37th annual ACLI Capital Challenge three-mile race Wednesday.

Sinema finished in 22 minutes and 3 seconds to break the course record of 22:41 held by former Republican Rep. Jean Schmidt of Ohio.

Haspel’s CIA Director Confirmation Hearing, in Photos
33-year career intelligence officer faces opposition to lead agency

Gina Haspel, nominee to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency, is sworn in before testifying during her confirmation hearing in the Senate (Select) Intelligence Committee on Wednesday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

The focal point of the week on Capitol Hill kicked off Wednesday with a series of arrests. The confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee for Gina Haspel to be director of the CIA drew attention from anti-torture protesters and members on both sides of the aisle.

As a 33-year veteran of the intelligence agency, Haspel’s involvement in post-9/11 “enhanced interrogation” tactics has been at the center of the controversy over her nomination.

If Not Gina Haspel, Then Who?
Opposition to career officer comes with risk of less palatable alternative

CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel has her confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call)

If not Gina Haspel, then who would be behind door No. 2?

Senate Democrats have concerns about Haspel, the CIA director nominee, ahead of her Wednesday confirmation hearing before the Intelligence Committee, but they might want to consider the potential alternatives.

When Tillis’ Staff Called Him an Idiot and Lexie Left Him for Dead
North Carolina senator recalls passing out at charity event last year

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., will be back for the 2018 ACLI Capital Challenge 3 Mile Team Race. Here he is at last year’s race flanked by legislative correspondent David Simons and Senate Armed Services staffer Samantha Clark. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

After last year’s ACLI Capital Challenge 3 Mile Team Race, Sen. Thom Tillis’ staffers told him he was an idiot. And the North Carolina Republican didn’t disagree.

Tillis started last May’s charity race on the first hot day of the year without hydrating. He’d eaten sushi the night before the run. He passed out along the course and was taken away in an ambulance.

Senators Skeptical of Kim’s Nuke Pledge As Trump Prepares for Summit
North Korean leader says he’s putting a freeze on nuclear and medium- and long-range missile testing

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., threw cold water on the notion President Donald Trump’s planned meeting with North Korea President Kim Jong Un would lead to serious concessions from the North. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Senators from both parties offered measured applause to President Donald Trump over the weekend after North Korea announced it would suspend nuclear and medium- and long-range missile tests ahead of Trump’s planned summit with its leader, Kim Jong Un.

The North’s promises to stem its nuclear weapons program “show that the president has put Kim Jong Un on the wrong foot for the first time,” Sen. Tom Cotton said Sunday on CBS's “Face the Nation.”

Stormy Daniels, Credibility Questions Plague White House
Administration won’t rule out direct sanctions on Vladimir Putin

A sign at Little Darlings Las Vegas advertises an upcoming performance at the strip club by adult film actress and director Stormy Daniels on Jan. 25. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images file photo)

The White House was forced to respond Monday to allegations made by porn actress Stormy Daniels and questions about the Trump administration’s credibility, two topics officials worked to ignore.

Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah also would not say whether President Donald Trump has ruled out sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin after several aggressive actions by his government. In a short but efficient press briefing, Shah, subbing for Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, also declined to issue a vote of confidence from behind a White House podium in embattled Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin.

Senate Intel Leaders Look for Better Security Before 2018 Primaries
DNI testifies about importance of public information on Russian election meddling

FBI Director Christopher Wray, left, shakes hands with Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr before a Tuesday hearing. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee hope to make their findings public on improving election security before primary contests get underway.

That’s what panel Chairman Richard M. Burr, a North Carolina Republican, and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, said Tuesday in wrapping up the open portion of the annual hearing on “Worldwide Threats.”