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Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week, himself oversaw a criminal investigation into Sessions' testimony to Congress in early 2017, ABC News first reported Wednesday. Citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, ABC News reported that McCabe authorized the investigation after then-FBI Director James Comey received a letter from Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and then-Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) in March of last year regarding Sessions' contacts with Russians. McCabe served as acting FBI Director in between Trump's firing of Comey in May and the confirmation of current Director Christopher Wray in August.... [Read More]
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday blasted Republican lawmakers for pushing to impeach state Supreme Court justices who ruled that the Keystone State's congressional districts were unfairly gerrymandered on partisan lines. "This is an unprecedented and undemocratic attempt to retaliate against the judicial branch," Wolf, a Democrat, said in a statement. "The legislature should be helping people, not settling personal grudges. This is nonsense and a waste of precious time and resources." Read More →... [Read More]
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is admitting mistakes and outlining steps to protect user data in light of privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm. Zuckerberg is breaking more than four days of silence as he posts an update about the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Read More →... [Read More]
Hundreds of Kentucky teachers are flexing their political muscle with a rally outside the state Capitol, hoping to bury a proposed pension overhaul. At least seven eastern Kentucky districts closed schools on Wednesday so teachers could attend. They were joined by employees from other districts, which either sent delegations or were closed due to a late-season snow. Read More →... [Read More]
In the wake of a report that he ignored his national security team's advice not to congratulate Russian president Vladimir Putin on Putin's recent re-election, President Donald Trump defended the exchange Wednesday.I called President Putin of Russia to congratulate him on his election victory (in past, Obama called him also). The Fake News Media is crazed because they wanted me to excoriate him. They are wrong! Getting along with Russia (and others) is a good thing, not a bad thing……. Read More →... [Read More]
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) said Wednesday that special counsel Robert Mueller should be fired. The far-right Texas congressman joined President Donald Trump's lawyer John Dowd, who said over the weekend that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should end Mueller's investigation. Read More →... [Read More]
Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner Cindy Hyde-Smith (R) has officially been named to replace retiring Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS), setting up a tough election against hardline conservative state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R). Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) announced his choice Wednesday, making her the first female senator in the state's history. But she'll have to fight hard to keep her new job, as McDaniel, a Tea Party favorite with a rabidly loyal base in the state, is already gunning for the seat. Read More →... [Read More]
The New York Times is defending its reporting on Facebook after a blog raised questions about changes the paper made to a story that suggested Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg opposed aggressively probing Russian activity on the platform. Law and Crime blogger Colin Kalmbacher alleged that Times reporters changed language about the relationship between Sandberg and outgoing Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos after receiving pressure from Facebook's communications team to soften up the wording. Read More →... [Read More]
you've seen his numbers among the Republican base... [Read More]
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Wednesday that the U.S. government needs to do more to punish Russia for election meddling and deter Russian officials from attempting to interfere again. "We need to do more," Nielsen said at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing when asked what punishment would deter future meddling. Nielsen did not specify what future actions the U.S. should take. Read More →... [Read More]
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said on Wednesday morning that President Donald Trump has supported her efforts to prepare for and combat future election meddling by Russia. During a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on election security, Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) asked Nielson whether she feels the White House has given her enough support to work with state and local officials on election security going forward. Read More →... [Read More]
The top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee says whistleblowers have detailed a plot by the Trump administration to oust the CEO of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) and replace him with someone favored by the White House. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) warned in a letter to the BBG, obtained by TPM, that that candidate, André Mendes, then plans to dismiss the existing Board of Governors, according to the whistleblowers. Read More →... [Read More]
Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Wednesday morning that looking back, he does not believe that the sanctions imposed on Russia in response to election meddling by the Obama administration were strong enough. "The Russian effort has not been contained, it has not been deterred," Johnson told the Senate Intelligence Committee in a hearing on election security. "With the benefit of hindsight, the sanctions we issued in late December have not worked as an effective deterrent." Read More →... [Read More]
Former advertising executive Marie Newman finally threw in the towel Wednesday morning after refusing to concede a hard-fought race to Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) on election night, even as she strongly suggested a possible 2020 rematch."Last night, we wanted to make sure that every vote was counted, that every voice was heard. We believed there was a possibility of victory," Newman said in a statement released Wednesday morning. "After reviewing the results, we know that we lost by a thin margin." Read More →... [Read More]
Former CIA Director John Brennan on Tuesday said he believed President Donald Trump was "afraid" of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and speculated that Putin could "have something" of a personal nature on Trump. In an interview on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," co-anchor Willie Geist asked Brennan, a frequent critic of Trump, why the President appeared hesitant to confront Russia over certain issues. Read More →... [Read More]
A new study from the Democracy Fund's Voter Study Group found that Americans who back President Donald Trump show the highest level of skepticism for Democracy. The study found that 23 percent of Trump supporters do not prefer a democracy and that 32 percent favor a "strong leader." By comparison, 20 percent of Hillary Clinton supporters said they prefer a "strong leader." Read More →... [Read More]
President Donald Trump on Wednesday quoted comments from a Democratic Harvard professor on Twitter to complain about special counsel Robert Mueller, again. Citing law professor, and former Hillary Clinton supporter, Alan Dershowitz's comments during an interview on Fox News, Trump reiterated his frustration with Mueller and his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Read More →... [Read More]
Good morning from snowbound Washington, D.C., and New York, where TPM is based. Here's what our team is watching today. Read More →... [Read More]
FBI Director Christopher Wray declined to say whether he threatened to resign over pressure to fire Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe in an NBC News interview that aired Tuesday night. NBC's Pete Williams asked Wray if reports that he threatened to resign over pressure from President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Read More →... [Read More]
Allegra Kirkland contributed reporting.  A New York judge dismissed former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page's defamation suit against Yahoo News' parent company Tuesday. Read More →... [Read More]