Politics & Government

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

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The headlines get more breathless by the moment. "Explosive new charges!" "A bombshell!"

Was it a crime for Donald Trump Jr. to meet with a Russian government-connected lawyer who promised dirt on Hillary Clinton for use in the presidential campaign? Was it worse than a crime? Was it treason?

The latest Russian caper — this one involving the president's son, then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner — has Washington (pardon the pun) atwitter.

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Colorado has one of the highest levels of voter registration per capita in the country. But now some people in Denver want to unregister to vote.

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And now let's get the view from Moscow on this unfolding controversy about the Trump campaign's connections to Russia. NPR's Lucian Kim is in Moscow. Hey there.

LUCIAN KIM, BYLINE: Hi, Ari.

News that the President Donald Trump’s eldest son took a meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer knowing it was part of a Russian attempt to help his father win the election has everyone in Washington talking.

Everyone, that is, except the president.

At a press briefing Tuesday, White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders relayed only a short statement from the president calling Donald Trump Jr. “a high quality person” and referring all further questions to outside counsel.

5 Questions Raised By Donald Trump Jr.'s Emails

Jul 12, 2017

Donald Trump Jr.'s emails about Russian help for his father's campaign revealed a great deal about the imbroglio over the meddling in the 2016 election — but they also raised as many questions as they answered.

Trump Jr.'s bid for "transparency" laid out the whos, wheres, whats and hows, but left out some critical details.

A free speech law center says President Trump and his staff are breaking the law when they block his critics on Twitter. The Knight First Amendment Institute has filed a lawsuit saying the president's Twitter feed is a public forum protected by the First Amendment.

Now that Donald Trump Jr.'s emails have produced the kind of solid evidence the Russia connection story had been lacking, what had been mostly speculative reporting has instead become the first draft of history.

Expect that history to be much debated. All accounts of political skulduggery with foreign actors tend to be "tangled and murky," as one foreign policy historian has written.

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Christopher Wray, President Trump's nominee for FBI Director, faces the Senate Judiciary Committee today for his confirmation hearing. Wray would replace James Comey, whom Trump fired in May. Click the headline for the live stream of the hearing. 

Updated at 3:56 p.m. ET

Christopher Wray, President Trump's nominee to lead the FBI, stressed his independence Wednesday, saying that his loyalty is to the Constitution and the rule of law and vowing he would "never allow the FBI's work to be driven by anything other than the facts, the law and the impartial pursuit of justice. Period."

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Did you know an old PR strategy holds that if you have bad news, get it all out at once?

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The FBI In Pop Culture

Jul 12, 2017

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If confirmed, Christopher Wray will head an agency that the public knows through popular culture. NPR's Vanessa Romo reports on the FBI in TV and movies.

VANESSA ROMO, BYLINE: There's an image that comes to mind when you think about the FBI lawman. And it's this guy.

What Crosses The Line Into Treason

Jul 12, 2017

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Hillary Clinton's former running mate, Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, used some specific legal words when describing that meeting.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

If Senate Republicans get their way, former Justice Department lawyer Christopher Wray will soon become the next director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, recently told reporters he hopes the nomination will "not languish" and said it's his plan to get Wray confirmed before the August congressional recess.

But before any votes take place, Wray will have to face a series of questions about his background — and his backbone.

1. Will you be loyal to the justice system or to the president?

Updated at 11:35 p.m. ET

Donald Trump Jr. acknowledged in an interview with Fox News on Tuesday that "in retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently" when meeting last year with a Kremlin-linked attorney in hopes of gaining damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., plans to release an updated Republican health care bill on Thursday and is delaying the body's annual August recess by two weeks in an effort to generate momentum for the beleaguered legislation.

When Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer last June, did he break any U.S. laws?

The J. Edgar Hoover FBI building is crumbling. Literally. Workers have placed netting along parts of its facade to keep chipping concrete from falling on pedestrians below. There are concerns about its security and the building, which opened in 1975, is no longer big enough to house the Bureau's headquarters staff.

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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." Trump Jr. agreed to the meeting, which former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner also attended in June 2016.

 

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted images of emails regarding his 2016 meeting with Russian lawyer on Tuesday. Trump Jr. forwarded the thread to Kushner and Manafort. Click the title for annotations...

 

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