Russia

Updated at 11:14 p.m. ET

Robert Mueller has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by President Trump, giving Democrats the star witness they have long wanted to put before the American public.

Updated at 5:20 p.m. ET

President Trump wants to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin for a visit to Washington this autumn, the White House said on Thursday.

Press secretary Sarah Sanders said that Trump and Putin had agreed at their summit on Monday in Finland that their security staffs would have an "ongoing working-level dialogue" and as part of that, Trump told national security adviser John Bolton to invite Putin to the United States.

As condemnation of the summit between Trump and Putin mounts in Washington, we head to rural Texas to hear how Trump supporters in Burnet County are reacting to criticism of the president.


Updated at 5:18 p.m. ET

A day after his much-criticized news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Trump attempted some damage control Tuesday, saying "I accept" the findings of the U.S. intelligence community that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential campaign.

But he again repeated his claim that there was no collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia and suggested that others may have interfered in the election.

Updated at 4:34 p.m. ET

Charges accusing a woman of trying to build bridges between the Russian government and American political leaders via the National Rifle Association have delivered a breakthrough in understanding one aspect of the attack on the 2016 election: "infiltration."

Brendan Smialowski / AFP/Getty Images

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin sat down for a summit today in in Helsinki, Finland.

This is the first stand-alone summit between the two leaders, and comes just days after an American grand jury indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers on charges related to Russia's interference in the 2016 election. The two leaders are holding a news conference following their meetings.

Updated at 7:13 p.m. ET

President Trump's effort to reset relations with Russia backfired at home after he failed to side with the U.S. intelligence community over Moscow's interference in the 2016 election. The president's equivocation drew bipartisan condemnation, capping a week in which Trump alienated allies and cozied up to adversaries.

Trump himself declared his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday in Helsinki a success, in what he called the "proud tradition of bold American diplomacy."

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Many in Texas and across the U.S. are trying to understand why seven members of Congress are spending their independence Day break in Russia, meeting with lawmakers and officials. The group, all Republicans, includes six senators and one member of the House, Rep. Kay Granger of Fort Worth.

Updated Thursday, June 28 at 8:19 a.m. ET

President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss relations between the United States and Russia and a range of national security issues when they meet in Helsinki on July 16.

The meeting will follow a NATO summit in Brussels on July 11.

"I think we'll be talking about Syria. I think we'll be talking about Ukraine. I think we'll be talking about many other subjects," Trump told reporters at the White House on Wednesday.

Updated at 1:09 p.m. ET

President Trump had a ready retort to a Russian threat to shoot down any U.S. missiles in Syria: "Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and 'smart!' "

Trump tweeted that news early Wednesday and added, "You shouldn't be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!"

fresh888/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

North Korea and Russia dominated foreign policy headlines in 2017, and a Texas-based geopolitical intelligence firm is indicating international decision makers should continue to keep an eye on those countries in the new year.

That’s part of a handful of predictions that Austin-based Stratfor is making in its Forecast for Geopolitical Risks for 2018.

Bob Daemmrich

WASHINGTON — Former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison testified on Thursday that she would take a tough stance on Russia if she is confirmed as the new ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. 

"We are beefing up defenses for an aggressive Russia," she told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, adding that she supports lawmakers considering new sanctions on Russian in response to its cyberattacks at home and abroad. "I think that Congress is doing the right thing." 

Aubrey Gemignani/NASA/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith is on a mission to uncover what he calls "Russia's propaganda war against fossil fuels." The Republican congressman whose district includes parts of San Antonio, the Hill Country and Austin, said as much in a recent letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted images of emails regarding his 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer on Tuesday. An intermediary said he could connect Trump Jr. with people who had information "that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton] ... and would be very useful to your father."

U.S. Navy Airman Michael Arteaga/Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

From Texas Standard:

On Monday, Russia threatened to shoot down any coalition jets flying west of the Euphrates river, after the U.S. shot down a Syrian warplane over the weekend. Russia is also suspending its use of the hotline between the U.S. and Russia that was set up to prevent accidents in the Syrian combat zone. The U.S. has also suspended talks with Russia over resolution of the Syrian conflict.

 

Updated at 6 p.m. ET

Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn is invoking his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination on Monday, refusing to hand over documents subpoenaed by the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The panel wants to see documents relating to Flynn's interactions with Russian officials as part of its probe into Russia's meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Kremlin.ru (CC BY 4.0)

From Texas Standard:

Officials with the State Department say the Syrian government has constructed, and is using a crematorium at a military prison. Just a few hours later, the Washington Post broke the news that President Donald Trump revealed classified information when he met with Russian officials last week in the Oval Office.

Updated at 9:45 p.m. ET

President Trump revealed "highly classified information" to two top Russian officials during a controversial Oval Office meeting last week, according to a report from The Washington Post.

Russian intelligence officials made repeated contact with members of President Trump's campaign staff, according to new reports that cite anonymous U.S. officials. American agencies were concerned about the contacts but haven't seen proof of collusion between the campaign and the Russian security apparatus, the reports say.

Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET

Intelligence agency leaders repeated their determination Thursday that only "the senior most officials" in Russia could have authorized recent hacks into Democratic National Committee and Clinton officials' emails during the presidential election.

Updated at 2:50 p.m. ET

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russia won't be expelling U.S. diplomats in a tit-for-tat response to U.S. sanctions, as his foreign minister had suggested earlier Friday.

Instead, he says he will decide how to move forward depending on the actions of President-elect Donald Trump's administration.

Trump took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to praise Putin's decision, calling it a "great move."

Updated at 6:15 p.m.

The White House has announced new actions targeting Russia in response to what U.S. officials say were cyberattacks intended to interfere with the U.S. election.

Manuel Fernando Gutiérrez/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

CrowdStrike – a cybersecurity firm – has linked malware used in the hacking of the Democratic National Convention’s emails to similar malware used by the Ukrainian army against pro-Russia separatists, the Washington Post reports.

Updated at 4:47 p.m.

President Obama blamed Russia for the violence in Ukraine and said its "incursion" into the former Soviet state will only carry additional costs.

"Russia has deliberately and repeatedly violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and the new images of Russian forces inside Ukraine make that plain for the world to see," Obama said at a White House news conference on Thursday.

Russia is allowing former NSA contractor Edward Snowden to remain in the country for at least three more years.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow on Thursday, attorney Anatoly Kucherena said Snowden's application had been approved Aug. 1.

If you remember, Snowden has been in exile for a little more than a year. He fled the United States when he decided to leak a cache of classified documents that revealed some of the United States' most deeply held security secrets.

The Obama administration says Russia has violated a 1987 nuclear pact by testing a ground-launched cruise missile.

An administration official called the matter "very serious" and says the U.S. is "prepared to discuss this in a senior-level bilateral dialogue immediately." The New York Times reports that President Obama notified Russian President Vladimir Putin of the finding in a letter Monday.

Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters /Landov

Both pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian government forces are denying any responsibility for downing the Malaysia Airlines jetliner carrying 295 passengers and crew. Multiple reports state the Boeing 777, traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, appeared to have broken up before impact, with the burning wreckage scattered over a wide area. All passengers are believed to have died. 

At a press event in Delaware, President Obama said he has directed national security advisors to stay close contact with the Ukrainian government. Reuters reports that just yesterday, the U.S. administration tightened its sanctions against Russia over the ongoing fighting in Ukraine. Shortly thereafter, Ukraine claimed that Russian had downed one of its war planes.

U.S. troops began joint military exercises in Poland this week, in response to Russia's continued incursion into Ukraine.  The Pentagon says troops will also be deployed to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Kiev on Monday as a show of support for the pro-Western Ukrainian government. As he met with the nation's leaders he called on Russia to "stop talking and start acting" to defuse the crisis.

So far, that doesn't seem to be happening. 

There will be few days that better symbolize the crisis in Ukraine.

On Friday:

As Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was signing an agreement on closer relations with the European Union ...

... Russian President Vladimir Putin was signing the laws his country has put in place to take Crimea from Ukraine and make it part of the Russian Federation.

This post was updated at 4:50 p.m. ET.

Russia's parliament has unanimously approved a request by President Vladimir Putin to authorize the intervention of Moscow's forces in Ukraine until "the normalization of the political situation" there. In response, Ukraine put its own forces on alert and warned that a Russian invasion would spark war between the two countries.

Pages