Tim Mak

Mark Zuckerberg left Capitol Hill last week with his primary mission complete.

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As the Trump administration evaluates potential military operations against Syria, the White House has declined to explain why it believes it has the legal authority to conduct them without authorization from Congress.

But the White House does have a secret seven-page memo that may make the case.

The National Rifle Association has accepted contributions from about 23 Russians, or Americans living in Russia, since 2015, the gun rights group acknowledged to Congress.

The NRA said in a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., unveiled on Wednesday, that the sum it received from those people was just over $2,500 and most of that was "routine payments" for membership dues or magazine subscriptions.

The National Rifle Association may have accepted more contributions from Russian donors than it first acknowledged, new documents show.

A Russian citizen who works for a U.S.-sanctioned arms manufacturer was arrested earlier this year when he tried to board a flight from Los Angeles to Moscow carrying a rifle scope — one authorities say requires an export license.

Soon, we might not be able to believe our own ears.

New technologies for creating faked audio are evolving quickly in the era of active information campaigns and their use of "fake news."

This has serious repercussions for politics: Influence-mongers could create fake clips of politicians to undermine them — or politicians could deny they said things they were really recorded saying, calling it fake audio.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Amid all the talk of fake news, the technologies to create fake audio and video are quickly evolving. NPR's Tim Mak has been looking into this, and he brings us this report of how these technologies could impact our politics.

The National Rifle Association acknowledged that it accepts foreign donations but says it does not use them for election work — even as federal investigators look into the role the NRA might have played in Russia's attack on the 2016 election.

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The Russia investigation has shown few signs of having an impact in this year's congressional elections, but there's a House race in Orange County, Calif., where Vladimir Putin looms large.

In fact, the congressman running for re-election there says he once arm wrestled the Russian president.

Updated on March 6 at 11:45 a.m. ET

A former campaign aide to Donald Trump appears to have changed his mind and will not fight a subpoena he says he has received in the Russia investigation — after daring special counsel Robert Mueller to arrest him in multiple media appearances.

Sam Nunberg called reporters and TV news programs on Monday and said live that he'd gotten a grand jury subpoena as part of Mueller's investigation asking for communications with other people in the Trump orbit — but that he would not comply.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is facing numerous challengers from the right and the left over his warm embrace of all things Russia. NPR went to Rohrabacher's district to explore the political campaign in America where Russia looms largest.

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Updated at 10:25 p.m. ET

A prominent Kremlin-linked Russian politician has methodically cultivated ties with leaders of the National Rifle Association and documented efforts in real time over six years to leverage those connections and gain deeper access into American politics, NPR has learned.

Russian politician Alexander Torshin said his ties to the NRA provided him access to Donald Trump — and the opportunity to serve as a foreign election observer in the United States during the 2012 election.

President Trump has appointed digital strategist Brad Parscale to lead his 2020 re-election effort, his campaign announced Tuesday.

"Brad was essential in bringing a disciplined technology and data-driven approach to how the 2016 campaign was run," said senior White House official Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law. "His leadership and expertise will be help build (sic) a best-in-class campaign."

The Trump campaign pledged its apparatus would not only prepare for the president's re-election, but also play a role in the 2018 midterm elections this year.

Outside a Trump campaign rally in West Palm Beach, Fla., there was a cage holding a person dressed up like Hillary Clinton in a prison uniform. In the outrageous state of the 2016 campaign, it wasn't altogether shocking to see someone at a Trump event staging the visual stunt, after the "lock her up!" chants that punctuated Trump rallies.

But it's now known that this moment was set up by Russians.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sounded an alarm this week: The Russians are already meddling in the 2018 midterm elections.

"The point is that if their intention is to interfere, they're going to find ways to do that," Tillerson told Fox News. "I think it's important we just continue to say to Russia, look, you think we don't see what you're doing. We do see it, and you need to stop."

Eight years ago, the Koch brothers' network spent millions to help boost the Tea Party wave.

In 2010, the right benefited from historical trends: Midterm elections are traditionally disastrous for the president's party. Close to a decade later, the wave is rolling back in.

"You're just going against the tide. You're going against history, which makes it a little tough," quipped network official Tim Phillips, president of the grassroots organization Americans For Prosperity.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

A liberal group is filing a complaint with the Federal Election Commission on Monday to demand an investigation into whether the National Rifle Association took contributions from Russians, which would be a violation of the law.