Politics & Government

Politics, elections, law, military and veteran's affairs

Updated at 11:24 p.m. ET

President Trump pointed his fingers at his own head and said then-national security adviser Michael Flynn had "serious judgment issues," according to a redacted, unclassified version of then-FBI Director James Comey's original memo about his fateful dinner with Trump.

That's one new detail included in copies of the memoranda sent by the Justice Department to Congress on Thursday evening in response to a request from the leaders of the Judiciary and intelligence committees.

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Tonight 15 pages of memos that former FBI director James Comey wrote after his conversations with President Trump have been turned over by the Justice Department to Congress. NPR's Ryan Lucas has been reading through them and joins us now. Hi, Ryan.

A federal judge has blocked the U.S. government from transferring to another country an American citizen who has been held without charge by the U.S. military in Iraq for more than seven months.

U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan issued the preliminary injunction Thursday evening, minutes before an 8 p.m. deadline to stop the transfer. The government had provided 72-hour notice, as required by the court, earlier this week that it planned to send the man, whose name has not been made public, to a third country.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is joining President Trump's legal team to help deal with the ongoing special counsel investigation into whether Trump's campaign conspired with the Russian attack on the 2016 election.

"Rudy is great," Trump said in a statement released by his attorney Jay Sekulow. "He has been my friend for a long time and wants to get this matter quickly resolved for the good of the country."

In the struggling canned goods industry, Pacific Coast Producers is a survivor, taking some 700,000 tons of fruit grown by California farmers each year and canning it for sale in supermarkets and large institutions such as hospitals.

This year the company, based in Lodi, Calif., is facing another challenge that promises to make turning a profit that much harder: President Trump's tariffs on steel imports.

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If you are one of the millions of Americans who tried to file your federal tax return electronically on Tuesday but couldn't, you might be wondering what happened. NPR's Brian Naylor reports we now have a better idea of what caused the snafu.

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Updated at 4:44 p.m. ET

The Justice Department inspector general has asked prosecutors in Washington, D.C., to examine whether former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe should face criminal charges.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz has referred McCabe to the U.S. Attorney's Office for Washington, D.C., according to a source familiar with the matter. The source asked not to be identified as discussing the sensitive ongoing case.

The 1966 governor's race had two stories: the Ryan Degraffenried story and the Lurleen Wallce story...

The U.K. plans to ban plastic straws, stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton swabs, Prime Minister Theresa May announced Wednesday at a meeting of Commonwealth nations.

"Plastic waste is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing the world," May said in a statement, in which she called the U.K. government "a world leader on this issue."

Just who controls the Twitter handle @realDonaldTrump? If you guessed the president, journalist Robert Draper says you might be only partially correct.

Draper's recent New York Times Magazine article profiles White House social media director Dan Scavino — a man Draper estimates helps craft about half of the president's tweets.

The gun issue is beginning to wane in voters' minds ahead of the November midterm elections, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds.

While almost half of all registered voters (46 percent) say a candidate's position on gun policy will be a major factor in deciding whom to vote for, that number is down 13 points from February, when a shooting at a Florida high school sparked outrage.

President Trump's personal attorney, Michael Cohen, has dropped a pair of defamation lawsuits he filed after BuzzFeed News published the infamous Russia dossier last year.

The embattled lawyer isn't conceding anything about the substance of what was detailed in the dossier, which is unverified, but says he has too much else on his plate to proceed now that he is dealing with a federal court case in New York.

"The decision to voluntarily discontinue these cases was a difficult one," said a lawyer for Cohen, David Schwartz.

Incomplete questionnaires for the 2020 census, including those that leave the controversial citizenship question unanswered, will still be included in the upcoming U.S. headcount, the Census Bureau's top official confirmed Wednesday to lawmakers.

Updated at 5:40 p.m. ET

The felony invasion-of-privacy case against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens can continue, Circuit Judge Rex Burlison ruled in St. Louis on Thursday. Many of Greitens' fellow Republicans have urged him to resign; he has refused.

Burlison announced he would not dismiss the case in response to a motion from Greitens' defense team, reports St. Louis Public Radio's Jason Rosenbaum.

Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin On Pompeo

18 hours ago

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CIA Director Mike Pompeo is not confirmed as secretary of state but is doing some diplomacy. President Trump spoke yesterday of Pompeo's previously secret mission to clear the way for a summit with North Korea's leader.

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Political brawls over voting laws have consumed states across the country for the past decade. But below the surface, a movement to automatically register eligible voters to vote is rapidly gaining traction. By next year, more than a quarter of all Americans will live in states where they no longer have to fill out registration forms in order to cast a ballot.

Conservative View On Mike Pompeo At State

20 hours ago

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President Trump seems optimistic about a potential face-to-face with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. The president talked about this last night during a joint press conference with Japan's prime minister. Trump did give a caveat.

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President Trump says he is optimistic about a potential meeting with North Korea's leader.

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Benjamin Wittes On Comey's New Book

20 hours ago

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., does not support a measure that would make it harder for President Trump to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, but that isn't stopping some Republicans from forcing the debate.

North Carolina Republican Thom Tillis said Wednesday that he will continue working on a bill to allow Mueller access to speedy judicial review if Trump tries to force him out of his job leading the Justice Department investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election — with or without McConnell's support.

Former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claims to have had a 10-month affair with President Trump that ended in 2007, has settled a lawsuit with the owner of the National Enquirer that kept her from publicly discussing the relationship.

A federal judge has found Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in contempt of court for disobeying a court order in a case testing that state's controversial proof-of-citizenship voting law.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson says Kobach violated her preliminary injunction to allow some potentially ineligible voters to remain eligible to cast a ballot, pending the outcome of the lawsuit.

Newly filed reports show Democratic House candidates outpacing Republicans in raising money for the midterm elections. Here's what's going on:

1. Democratic donors are excited by the possibility of gaining a House majority.

At Trump National Doral Golf Club near Miami this week, executives with the nation's payday loan industry are holding their annual conference with receptions, breakout sessions and a golf tournament.

Outside the gates of the resort Tuesday, a smaller group gathered to hold a protest. They were trying to shame an industry that they say preys on the vulnerable, by lending them money at interest rates as high as 200 percent to 300 percent a year.

New York's attorney general wants lawmakers to change the state's criminal laws so that potential pardons by President Trump wouldn't necessarily protect people from being charged in the state system.

The Senate approved a measure Wednesday that would roll back policies designed to protect minority car buyers from discriminatory loan terms. Republicans passed the bill by a narrow margin, and it now moves on to the House.

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