This happened today.
- Congressional investigators want to question Rhona Graff — Trump’s personal secretary for close to three decades — as part of their probe into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, according to reports Friday.
- Graff — who has not been accused of any wrongdoing — was named in the now-infamous email exchange between first son Donald Trump Jr. and music publicist Rob Goldstone.
- It’s unknown right now if Goldstone ever did reach out to Graff, who reportedly still serves as a “point of contact” for the president, but ABC News reported that she has long been a key gatekeeper for the president and is known to handle his emails. Read more (8/11/17 2:45 PM)
- Trump gave himself a hearty pat on the back Thursday for trying to drum transgender people out of the U.S. armed forces, saying he’s “doing the military a great favor” by clearing up a “complicated” issue.
- Trump said he has “great respect” for the transgender community and claimed he “got a lot of votes” from its members.
- But the president, who announced his plan to bar trans men and women from the service in a late-July tweet, said he deserves accolades for tackling the “confusing” matter head-on.
- At the same press conference, Trump also expressed gratitude to Russia’s Vladimir Putin for expelling U.S. diplomats. Read more (8/10/17 5:30 PM)
- A new Gallup poll released on Wednesday shows that one in four Americans believe that Trump acted illegally in connection to the allegations that his campaign communicated with Russian officials in order to influence the 2016 election.
- 37%, said that they believe he acted “unethically but not illegally,” while 35%, said they believed Trump did nothing wrong.
- Perhaps unsurprisingly, the new Gallup poll found that opinions on Trump’s actions in relation to Russia were starkly divided along party lines. Read more (8/10/17)
- An apartment in Alexandria, Virginia, was at the center of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation late last month.
- The Washington Post reported the FBI led a predawn raid on the former Trump campaign chairman’s home searching for documents that would aid the Russia inquiry.
- The raid requires a search warrant. To obtain a search warrant, a judge must be convinced a crime may have been committed.
- That warrant sought tax, banking and other documents that could be helpful to the investigation. The move is another major step for the monthslong investigation that has already impaneled a grand jury and investigated Manafort, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and Trump campaign aides. Read more (8/10/17)
- Special counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury as part of his probe into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, a clear sign the investigation is heating up and could continue to drag on for months.
- The fact Mueller impaneled a grand jury doesn’t mean one or more indictments are imminent, but it does provide some clues about where the investigation stands.
- For one, a grand jury had already been convened for former national security adviser Mike Flynn, who resigned in February after misleading White House officials about his contacts with Russians during the campaign. Read more. (8/3/2017 5:18 PM)
- While flying home from the G20 Summit in Germany, President Donald Trump
dictated the statement made by his son, Donald Trump Jr., in response
to allegations that he met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 presidential election.
- According to an exclusive report by the Washington Post,
while aboard Air Force One, the president became personally involved in
the creation of his son’s statement which was issued to the New York Times in response to its investigation into the meeting.
- In the statement, Trump Jr. claimed he had met with a Russian lawyer
to “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian
children.” The statement additionally noted that the subject of the
meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time.” Read More (8/1/17)
- On Tuesday, the House overwhelmingly voted in favor of new legislation that will place sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea.
- According to Politico, the legislation will also place limits on President Donald Trump’s power to end or ease any penalties against Russia.
- The legislation, which House members voted in favor of by a margin of 419-3, is largely aimed at Russia for its alleged involvement in the 2016 presidential election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria, the Associated Press reported.
- Now, the legislation must pass in the Senate and be sent to the president for either his signature or his veto. Neither the Senate nor the president have signaled their respective plans for the bill. Read more (7/25/17)
- On Thursday, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve a bill imposing new economic sanctions on Iran, North Korea and Russia.
- The new sanctions were, in part, a response to Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election, as Reuters reported.
- The sanctions target “crucial sectors” of Russia’s economy, according to the Associated Press, including energy exports and weapons sales.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin had previously threatened retaliation against the new sanctions. Russia made good on those threats on Friday. Read more (7/28/17 8:30 AM)
- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is working on legislation that would prohibit President Donald Trump from firing special counsel Robert Mueller, he announced on Fox News Thursday afternoon.
- “I’m gonna create a statute that would say any time a special counsel is impaneled to investigate the president or their team, a dismissal has to be reviewed by the courts,” Graham said on America’s Newsroom. “That’s what we did in the 1990s as a check and balance, not just against this president, but against all future presidents.”
- Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) — who had discussed proposing such legislation on MSNBC earlier in the week — is writing the bill with Graham. Read more (7/27/17)