FROM John Schindler
NSA document leaker revealed and arrested unprecedentedly fast A news site specializing in leaked intelligence information published a bombshell yesterday, and within an hour it was announced that the leaker was arrested. The bombshell: evidence that Russia did try to influence last year’s election. The arrest: evidence that the Trump Administration is cracking down.
Political drama intensifies on Capitol Hill Director James Comey told Congress today the FBI is investigating claims that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia – and firmly denied the President's accusation that Barack Obama wire-tapped him before the election. "I have no information that supports those tweets." Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee pressed hard on finding the source of intelligence leaks to the news media. We hear more about today's action and what it could mean for both Republicans and Democrats.
Another wedge between the President and intelligence community It's reported that intelligence agents are withholding information from the Chief Executive out of fear that it could be leaked or compromised. The President today called that "fake news," but said he will investigate leaks about alleged ties between his campaign team and Russian agents, leaks which are damaging to his conduct of foreign policy. "The first thing I thought of when I heard about this is how does the press get this information? It's classified. You know why? Because it's an illegal process, and the press should be ashamed of themselves. But more importantly, the people who gave out the information to the press should be ashamed of themselves." This comes in complete contrast to his praise of Wikileaks during his presidential campaign. We look at the growing gap between the President and the intelligence community.
The Trump Administration: In search for a policy in Eastern Europe Fighting has flared again in Eastern Ukraine, and NATO allies are playing military chess with Russia there, in the Balkans and in the Baltics as well. President Trump’s support for NATO — only if members "pay their fair share" — has undermined confidence in American leadership. Vladimir Putin appears to be taking advantage of local disputes as well as the uncertainty in Washington. Will the President agree to modify economic sanctions — despite opposition from powerful members of his own Republican Party?
Will Donald Trump make peace with US intelligence? The last time Donald Trump had a full-fledged news conference, he urged Russia to find and reveal more of Hillary Clinton's emails. That was in July. Now he's in an unprecedented public battle with all 17 US intelligence agencies, accusing them of "a political witch hunt." He denies Vladimir Putin helped him defeat Clinton -- alarming Republicans as well as Democrats about future Russian relations. How serious is Putin's meddling in US politics? Will Trump's own financial ties to America's powerful antagonist be a risk to national security?
The US and Russia: Another re-set? Donald Trump has publicly scorned the CIA for claiming that Russia tried to help him get elected. But the disagreement's much deeper than that. Trump has picked a national security team with close ties to Vladimir Putin, who intelligence agents -- and many Republicans -- insist is up to no good. How much do they really know about that, and when did they know it? Is Trump's hand of friendship a lucky accident for Putin, whose real goal is a divided Europe? We look at the long-term threat to the Atlantic Alliance, national security and the global balance of power.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
Venezuela spirals into economic and political chaos Venezuela, a country whose potential for prosperity is unmatched, finds itself on the verge of civil war. What sustains the repressive government? With time running out, guest host León Krauze looks at what the international community can do to pull the country from the edge of collapse.