intelligence

Rosenstein Removal Charges Will Only Deepen Trump-DOJ War
But deputy AG calls Times article ‘inaccurate and factually incorrect’

President Donald Trump speaks to the media as he walks across the South Lawn while departing the White House in May. On Friday, the New York Times published a piece alleging Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wanted to tape him and use the 25th amendment to remove him from office. (Sarah Siblinger/CQ Roll Call)

ANALYSIS | Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein denies he wanted to record Donald Trump in order to gather enough dirt to remove the president via the 25th amendment. But that’s not likely to be much solace to a president who is at war with his Justice Department.

The New York Times published a story Friday afternoon detailing alleged conversations Rosenstein had in the spring of 2017 about the circus-like operations that defined the West Wing in the early months of the Trump presidency. The deputy AG had only been in the job a few weeks, but was emotional and concerned when talking about his idea of secretly taping Trump with the goal of getting enough to trigger the 25th amendment — which provides a mechanism for the vice president and Cabinet members to begin the removal of a president from the Oval Office.

Despite New Tariffs, China Still Not Budging on Trade Tactics, White House Says
Senior official indicates Canada no closer to joining Mexico trade deal than it was when talks started

U.S. and Chinese flags on a table where military leaders from the two countries met in 2014. Four year later, the economic giants are in the midst of a bitter trade dispute. Depsite President Trump’s tariff's little progress has been made, an official said Friday. (U.S. Army Photo by Sgt. Mikki L. Sprenkle)

The Trump administration is not aiming to “cleve off” the U.S. economy from China’s, but it intends to continue pressuring the Asian giant even though tough moves like repeated rounds of tariffs have yet to bring the fundamental changes President Donald Trump is demanding.

“Our goal is not to totally divorce our economies from each other,” said a senior official who briefed reporters Friday at the White House about trade matters. “Our goal is for China to stop behaving unfairly.”

Russians Targeting Senate, Staff Personal Emails, Sen. Ron Wyden Warns
And the Senate sergeant-at-arms can do nothing to stop the cyber attacks — for now

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., told colleagues that Russian hackers have been targeting senators’ and aides’ personal accounts and devices. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Ron Wyden implored his colleagues to enact legislation that would allow the Senate sergeant-at-arms to provide cyber protections to senators and staffers for their personal devices and accounts.

The Oregon Democrat warned Senate leaders that the state-backed Russian group responsible for hacking the Democratic National Committee before the 2016 election, “Fancy Bear,” has also tried infiltrating the personal communications networks of senators and their staffers, including Wyden’s own aides.

‘Fort Trump’: How Poland’s President Took Flattery to New Heights
U.S. president utters rare public criticism of Russia after months of GOP unease

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump with Polish President Andrzej Duda and his wife, Agata Kornhauser-Duda, on Tuesday in the Oval Office two hours before Duda proposed building a “Fort Trump” in his country. (Official White House Photo Joyce N. Boghosian via Flickr)

Trump Tower, Trump Hotel, Trump University, Trump ties ... Fort Trump?

Sure — if the president’s Polish counterpart gets his wish.

Nunes Plans to Release House Russia Probe Interviews Before Midterms
Schiff, Democrats have been calling for release for months

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., plans to release interview transcripts from the House Russia probe by the midterm elections. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, plans to release the transcripts of dozens of private interviews from the committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

With midterms coming up, the California Republican said, he wants to work quickly in the coming weeks to make unclassified interviews from the probe public and have Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats declassify the others.

Trump Skips Usual Fanfare, Privately Signs Election Meddling Order
Obama White House aide on intended message: ‘Please don’t pay attention to this’

President Donald Trump walks from the West Wing to Marine One on his way to Joint Base Andrews Friday July 20, 2018. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Donald Trump’s top national security adviser said the president signed an executive order this week on election meddling to show he has “taken command” of the matter. But this time, the White House broke from its practice of using such directives to make a public splash, instead keeping the event from the public and press.

The president himself has frequently called for reporters and photographers to be allowed into events he thinks will help his media narrative — even when his public schedule did not call for journalists in the room. This time, on the morning of the signing, his public schedule was empty until an 11:30 a.m. intelligence briefing.

Trump Signs Election Meddling Order, But No Mention of Russia
White House says they will keep talking to lawmakers as Senate bill lingers

Voting signs at One Judiciary Square in Washington in 2016. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump signed an executive order aimed at punishing foreign actors that interfere with U.S. elections, senior administration officials said Wednesday.

National security adviser John Bolton said Trump and his team decided to move ahead with the order to show he has “taken control” of efforts to prevent, stop and punish election meddling like that conducted by Russia in 2016. Though there is a bipartisan Senate bill focused on combating meddling, the administration moved the order now to put a “mechanism” in place that marshals all federal efforts under Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

Richard Burr Praises Expected Trump Order on Election Interference
Confirms Intelligence Committee report on Russian meddling won’t come before November

Intelligence Chairman Richard M. Burr. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee seemed to confirm Wednesday the existence of a forthcoming executive order to counter efforts of Russia and other foreign adversaries to interfere in U.S. elections.

Sen. Richard M. Burr pointed to the sanctions action during an interview on Fox News.

Democrats Call Bologna on Meadows’ Strzok-Page Theory
Strzok, Page were not talking about leaking to the press, Democrats say — they were talking about combatting leaks

Former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok’s text messages with Department of Justice lawyer Lisa Page have been scrutinized for months by House Republicans. (Sarah Silbiger/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democrats attempted to refute point-by-point a letter from GOP Rep. Mark Meadows to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in which Meadows claims text messages between a former FBI agent and a Justice Department lawyer recently released to Congress show there is a “systemic culture of media leaking by high-ranking officials” at the agencies.

But the fired FBI official Peter Strzok and DOJ lawyer Lisa Page were not texting about leaking information to the press — they were texting about combatting leaks, Democrats said Tuesday.

On Typically Unifying 9/11, Trump Attacks His Domestic Foes
On somber anniversary, president dubs DOJ, FBI ’so terrible‘

President Donald Trump began the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by lashing out at his own political foes. (Getty Images)

Wreaths were laid and bells tolled Tuesday for the fallen in Manhattan, at the Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania. Officials spoke, as did Vice President Mike Pence, about “honor and remembrance.” But President Donald Trump started off the 9/11 anniversary by lashing out at his political opponents.

“For the families of the fallen and all those looking on, the cherished final moments with your loved ones … seem like yesterday. Just know that your nation understands,” Pence said at the Pentagon, striking the tone George W. Bush and Barack Obama administration officials did on Sept. 11 anniversaries past.