Politics & Government

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

Vice President Mike Pence is facing backlash for his staunch efforts to ignore North Korean officials at the Winter Olympic Games, even as the two Koreas continued their temporary truce, marching and competing as one team.

Pence's cold demeanor toward the North Koreans at the Pyeongchang games was overshadowed by friendly cooperation between the North and South. The vice president also drew criticism from some openly gay members of Team USA, who questioned his role at the Olympics due to his anti-LGBT views.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Heath Hall, who became the Federal Railroad Administration's acting chief in June, resigned Saturday after a Politico report raised questions about whether he was simultaneously working another job.

NPR has confirmed the resignation with the Department of Transportation.

"DOT was unaware of the information that is being reported regarding outside work Heath Hall took on during his time at FRA, but those allegations, if true, are troubling," DOT said in a statement Saturday.

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET

The resignation of White House staff secretary Rob Porter after media reports of domestic abuse allegations against him — allegations he has denied — raises some key questions about government security clearances, and how they're obtained.

More than 3 million government employees hold some type of security clearance, most in the Department of Defense. That's more than half of all federal jobs. Another 1.2 million government contractors held clearances, as of 2015.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Democratic Funder Tom Steyer On Budget Deal

Feb 10, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Pennsylvania Proposes New Districts

Feb 10, 2018

Copyright 2018 WITF. To see more, visit WITF.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

We're going to go through some of the bits and pieces of this political week with NPR senior editor and correspondent of the Washington desk, Ron Elving. Ron, thanks so much for being with us.

This week in the Russia investigations: Democrats defend Christopher Steele — for now — but lose Round 2 of memo mania; and the bosses of the spy agencies are due for a rare public appearance on Capitol Hill.

Reinforcing Steele

President Trump blocked the release of a Democratic memo rebutting an earlier Republican memo. The White House said the Democrats' response had too much secret information. Democrats are asking what Trump is trying to hide.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Updated Feb. 10 at 1:09 p.m. ET

President Trump will not immediately release a memo drafted by Democrats on the House intelligence committee intended to respond to a memo by that committee's Republican chairman released last week, with the White House instead suggesting revisions of sensitive sections before it is made available to the public.

The Albuquerque Journal issued an apology Thursday for running a nationally syndicated cartoon that has been assailed as a racist attack on Latino immigrants by critics.

"In hindsight, instead of generating debate, this cartoon only inflamed emotions. This was not the intent, and for that, the Journal apologizes," Editor Karen Moses wrote in the paper.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Updated at 7:11 p.m. ET

The No. 3 official at the Justice Department will be stepping down after less than a year, leaving a key vacancy in the succession of people who are tasked with overseeing the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The Justice Department announced Friday evening that Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand will be leaving her job in the coming weeks to take a position in the private sector. A source told NPR that Brand, who was sworn in last May, has been in talks about becoming the top lawyer at Walmart.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Joining us now to talk about the week in politics is Erick Erickson of the website The Resurgent and Jonathan Capehart, who's on the editorial board of The Washington Post. Hi, guys.

JONATHAN CAPEHART: Hi, Ari.

Updated Feb. 10 at 4:17 p.m. ET

President Trump appeared to defend two recently resigned members of his staff accused of domestic abuse on Saturday, arguing in a tweet for due process and saying that people's lives are being destroyed by "a mere allegation."

Friday News Roundup - Domestic

Feb 9, 2018

It was a week of ups and downs.

Starting Monday, the Dow fell a lot, then rose a little, then fell, then, well … let’s see where it’s at when the show starts.

Friday News Roundup - International

Feb 9, 2018

In South Africa, they’ve started calling it Zexit: The country’s controversial president, Jacob Zuma, appears close to stepping down.

Meanwhile, the influential sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un steps up.

And pressure mounts to save thousands under siege in Syria.

GUESTS

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Pages