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(J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press)

House Democrats early Thursday released the full slate of roughly 3,500 advertisements purchased on Facebook by the Russian Internet Research Agency, most during the 2016 campaign, in what U.S. intelligence agencies said was Moscow’s attempt to sow discord and boost Donald Trump’s candidacy. 

“There’s no question that Russia sought to weaponize social media platforms to drive a wedge between Americans, and in an attempt to sway the 2016 election,” said a statement from Rep. Adam Schiff of Burbank, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. 

He added, “The only way we can begin to inoculate ourselves against a future attack is to see first-hand the types of messages, themes and imagery the Russians used to divide us.”

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One after another, 15 Democratic senators — nearly a third of their caucus — stepped to a microphone on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to call for tough rules to protect net neutrality.

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Kevin McCarthy and Nancy Pelosi may stand political poles apart but, together, the two California lawmakers are on the verge of making history.

(Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)

President Trump threatened the media on Wednesday morning, suggesting he could pull the White House press credentials of reporters for unfavorable coverage of him and his administration.

“Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Trump complains about the media often but rarely threatens government action. During the presidential campaign, he would sometimes bar reporters for certain media outlets from his rallies. As president, he suggested he could take television networks’ broadcast licenses — though federal licenses go to individual stations, not networks — and he proposed an audit of the Post Office system to target Amazon, linking the company to the Washington Post because both are owned by Jeff Bezos.

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The Senate Intelligence Committee is holding a confirmation hearing on Wednesday morning for Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee to lead the CIA. 

Her nomination is highly controversial because of her role in the agency’s counterterrorism operations after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, including running a so-called black site prison in Thailand where suspects were waterboarded, and protesters showed up to oppose her. 

Several members of Code Pink were hauled out by police before the hearing even started when they started shouting, “Don’t reward torture!”

(Wong Maye-E, Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)

President Trump on Wednesday announced that North Korea had released three American captives to visiting Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a conciliatory signal from Kim Jong Un’s government ahead of a planned summit between him and the president.

Trump broke the news on Twitter, saying that Pompeo was returning after a brief visit with “3 wonderful gentlemen that everyone is so looking forward to meeting.” In a second tweet, Trump said he would be at Joint Base Andrews to greet them when they arrive at 2 a.m. Thursday.

Trump did not identify them as hostages or name them. But the president, who has taken a particular interest in individual hostage cases, had been hinting of their imminent release for days.

The fight over net neutrality is back.

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President Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
President Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. (Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA; Iranian Presidency Office via Associated Press)

President Trump announced Tuesday the U.S. will pull out of the landmark nuclear accord with Iran, dealing a profound blow to U.S. allies and potentially deepening the president's isolation on the world stage. 

“The United States does not make empty threats,” he said in a televised address. 

Trump's decision means Iran's government must now decide whether to follow the U.S. and withdraw or try to salvage what's left of the deal. Iran has offered conflicting statements about what it may do — and the answer may depend on exactly how Trump exits the agreement.